Health Care Reform: What’s in It for Rural Communities and Rural Medical Care?

Making people healthier is the ultimate goal of health care reform, but it can't be done without access to medical services. This paper summarizes access provisions in the new law directly targeted to rural communities and rural medical care.

Access issues are serious health challenges in most of rural America. The Affordable Care Act has important and beneficial provisions that will improve access to needed medical care for rural individuals, families and communities. These provisions also have the potential to aid the economies of many rural communities, as new and improved medical facilities and more health care professionals in rural communities will afford more jobs, more income and more economic opportunity in rural communities.

The National Center for Rural Health Works at Oklahoma State University has found that one full-time rural primary care physician generates, on average, about $1.5 million in revenue, nearly $1 million in payroll and creates or helps create 23 jobs in a community.

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