GOP Cost Rural Alabama $14.4 Billion; 30,000 Jobs; Better Healthcare

Alabama has the Republican leadership to thank for the state losing out on $14.4 billion in federal money that is available by law to provide mostly Rural American residents with health insurance coverage. The number of Alabamians denied affordable healthcare is approaching half a million people.

Now we’ve learned Republican have plans next year to try to slash healthcare even more for Rural Alabama.

Even Alabama’s peer states, like Arkansas, Louisiana and Kentucky have welcomed the federal money to expand health care coverage into their Rural Communities. States like Alabama that allow politicians to reject to the federal expansion are doing an injustice to its Rural Communities.

Even Alabama’s peer states, like Arkansas, Louisiana and Kentucky have welcomed the federal money to expand health care coverage into their Rural Communities. States like Alabama that allow politicians to reject to the federal expansion are doing an injustice to its Rural Communities.

“We must ensure that quality health care is available not only in our cities, but in rural areas as well. As pointed out recently by U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, ‘Alabama’s rural hospitals have been struggling for years, largely due to inadequate reimbursements, low volume and high operating costs,’” explained Doug Jones, who is working to bring expanded health care to Alabama.

The problem for Alabama isn’t just the loss of federal funds for coverage. The problem extends to Rural Hospitals in Alabama that face closing without increased revenue. The federal money would go a long toward propping up Rural Hospitals in Alabama.

“Since 2010, five rural hospitals have closed in Alabama, leaving residents without local care. As Rep. Sewell notes, ‘We need more robust Medicaid funding in Alabama if our rural hospitals are to survive,’” Jones concluded.

On top of the lost revenue, the Republicans decision to decline the federal aide is costing Alabama an estimated 30,000 new jobs that would be created by the increased healthcare coverage. Alabama deserves a better deal than that.

Graphic: Center for Rural Affairs

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