Rural Health News

Dollars and Sense of Health Care Access in Nebraska

On Mar 8, the Center for Rural Affairs released a Rural Policy Brief examining the basic economic and income issues for all Nebraskans connected to expanding Medicaid.

Nebraska is one of 17 states not adopting Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. This has left thousands of working Nebraskans without access to affordable health care. The economic consequences of this decision are significant.

Rural Hospitals Closing at Rate of 1 Per Month

Rural hospitals have been closing at a rate of nearly 1 per month since 2010. The Southeast has been especially hard hit (see map down below). A rural hospital closure can leave a permanent gap in availability of services in the community.

But closing rural hospitals is not inevitable. The recent increase in closures is the direct outcome of public policy decisions we have made, and we can make different decisions.

Beyond the Gap

March marks the six year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law.

The uninsured rate is now at 11.9%, the lowest ever recorded. Approximately 17 million more Americans have health insurance today than before the law was passed. Hospitals across the nation have saved tens of billions of dollars on uncompensated care.

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