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Rural Health Champions Call for Extension of Rural Medicare Programs

Senator Mark Begich (AK) joined a chorus of rural health champions on Capitol Hill in sending letters to House and Senate leadership regarding the need to extend vital rural Medicare programs on Friday.  Senator Begich wrote about the challenges that rural health providers face in delivering care.  He expressed concern that current proposals "omitted provisions designed to sustain our rural delivery system".  He called on Congress to extend these expiring provisions and consider the impact of any proposal on these rural facilities. Senator Begich's letter followed a letter sent by Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5) on Thursday.  The bi-partisan letter, signed by 19 members of Congress, called on House leadership to extend these vital provisions. "Every person deserves access to high quality health care regardless of if they live in a big city, small town, or rural community," said Congressman Thompson. “Congress must act to extend these benefits, like it has done many times before, to help ensure that the people living in rural areas can continue to receive the same level of health care services.” Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers added, "Access to quality health care is a rapidly-growing challenge in Eastern Washington’s rural communities. To deal with that challenge, Congress has on previous occasions wisely enacted a number of programs to help rural health facilities and those they serve.  It’s critical that those programs be protected to ensure the health and well-being of the 1 in 4 Americans who live in our country’s rural communities." NRHA calls on all members of Congress to join these champions and stand up for the rural health care delivery system.

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