Repealing health-care law could force more rural hospital closures

Jan 16, 2017

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)
Credit Flap / Flickr Creative Commons

As HPPR has reported in the past, rural hospitals in the U.S. have been struggling a great deal in recent years. Many of them have closed.

This phenomenon is part of a larger trend of younger people moving to the cities and leaving rural areas with little help.

Rural hospitals have been hit hardest in states that refused to expand Medicaid or accept federal funding. These states include Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

Now, the U.S. Senate has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, without providing an immediate replacement.

As The Rural Blog reports, if Congress repeals the health-reform law, many more struggling rural hospitals will be in danger of shuttering. Rural hospitals have long subsisted on meager funds, relying in large part on assistance from the federal government to keep their doors open. If those federal funds are taken away, many rural residents may have nowhere to turn when they get sick.