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Rural Hospitals Fight to Block $16B in Federal Cuts

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, July 27, 2011

Elehwany said rural healthcare has advocates in the Senate Rural Health Caucus, such as Senators  Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Pat Roberts (R-KS). Roberts, incidentally, has co-sponsored a bill that would give all Americans "the right to a waiver to become exempt from portions of President Obama's new health care reform law."

Elehwany urges stakeholders to continue to educate their representatives, and not just until the August 2 debt ceiling deadline because she suspects that similar negotiations will continue, perhaps until 2013.

"For the next several years you just really need to invite your member of congress to your critical access hospital, to your sole community hospital. Let them know what you do, let them know why Congress created the reimbursement," Elehwany said. "Those hospitals are their own best advocates."

Alexandra Wilson Pecci is a managing editor for HealthLeaders Media.

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