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Rural Hospitals Prep for 'March' on Washington

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, July 25, 2012

Also, the bill is one of the few items in Congress that has bipartisan support in both chambers. The Senate sponsors are heavyweight Sens. Charles Schumer, (D-NY) and Chuck Grassley, (R-IA). The House companion legislation has 29 cosponsors from both parties.

It doesn't matter if a state bleeds Red or drools yellow dog Blue, every senator and many representatives have rural constituencies and these elected officials understand the important roles that hospitals—and their employees—play in their communities.

"Some of these hospitals account for as much as 20% of the economic production in their communities," Lee says. "They are the largest employer or the second largest after their school district in their rural county. They are very important not just to deliver care but driving the economy and attracting outside business to come there by making sure there are adequate healthcare services."

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