It isn’t news that in rural parts of the country, people have a harder time accessing good health care. But new evidence suggests opposition to a key part of the 2010 health overhaul could be adding to the gap.
The finding comes from a study published Wednesday in the journal Health Affairs, which analyzes how the states’ decisions on implementing the federal health law’s expansion of Medicaid, a federal-state insurance program for low-income people, may be influencing rural hospitals’ financial stability. Nineteen states opted not to join the expansion.
Rural hospitals have long argued they were hurt by the lack of Medicaid expansion, which leaves many of their patients without insurance coverage and strains the hospitals’ ability to better serve the public. The study suggests they have a point.
Specifically, the researchers, from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, found that rural hospitals saw an improved chance of …
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