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Meeting with the Blue Dog Coalition

I had the opportunity to meet this morning for breakfast with the Blue Dog Democratic Coalition on Capitol Hill to discuss health care quality and health reform. The Blue Dog Coalition is a group of 52 moderate and conservative Democratic Party members of the United States House of Representatives. The Blue Dogs promote, among other things, fiscal conservatism and accountability. My message was simple and straightforward when it comes to rural providers: Rural should not be left behind in the health care reform debate, and in fact rural can play a leading role. Most rural providers practice in small settings within local organizations, which are quick to change and adapt to new ideas. Too often rural is simply exempted from policy discussions at the Federal level. This was a great week to meet with the Blue Dog Coalition, since the beginning outlines of national health care reform proposals are expected to be released this week in Washington .

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