Distancing Rural Health Care

A growing problem in rural America is the growing distances its citizens must travel for health care, thanks to years of hospital and clinic closures as large companies buy and consolidate facilities in rural areas.┬áBut also because insurance companies don’t include nearby facilities in their networks. And federal regulators are institutionalizing this trend.

Carol Miller, a community organizer in New Mexico, comprehensively writes about this issue in The Daily Yonder, focusing on the chart below showing how federal regulators propose to allow insurers to discriminate against rural populations and still participate in the markets set up by the Affordable Care Act.

One of the worst things about this table is that it exists and is in the public realm. I am extremely concerned that it might dangerously take on a life of its own. Remember, that just as the Health Professions Shortage Area designation was originally created for use by a single program, there are now are more than 20 programs using it. The standards proposed in this table need to go away and never be used by any program. The goal needs to be access to care for people living in rural and CEAC communities [counties with a population density of less than 10 per square mile], not distances and travel times that will guarantee not only worse access, but also worse health.

ruralInsurance
source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Dept. of Health and Human Services

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Electability

Who beats Trump? A practiced politician who has never shied away from Wall Street money, who entertains every whim of defense contractors — or a truthteller who will take a wire brush to the moneyed interests who care nothing about working people? Just like Bill destroying lives by reapeling Glass-Steagal. Talk left to your droolers, walk right to your donors.

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Trump For Jesus?

Too funny. The idea that Donald Trump and Jesus are pals. Not since Saul traveled the road to Damascus has such a conversion been imagined. Paul got ‘er done. Trump? Not likely.

Seriously, if this is what evangelicals have come to, supporting the likes of Donald Trump, then they are simply finished as a force in Judeo-Christian politics, nothing but yet another self-serving interest group mocking their own cause.

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Huh?

Hillary in tonight’s debate:

“I was responsible for getting those sanctions imposed which put the pressure on Iran, which brought them to be negotiating table, which resulted in this agreement.”

When asked about her role in Lybia/Syria:

“If there is any blame to be spread around it starts with the Prime Minister of Iraq who sectarianized his military, setting Shia against Sunni. It was amplified by Assad, who has waged one of the bloodiest most terrible attacks on his own people. 250,000+ dead, millions fleeing, causing this vacuum that has been filled unfortunately by terrorist groups including ISIS.”

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