Legislation Cosponsored by Senator Gary Peters Would Help Expand Coverage and Benefit Rural Communities, Addressing the Unique Problems Outlined in New Report
Washington, DC — A day after Senator Gary Peters joined a group of senators to introduce the SAME Act, a bill that would benefit rural communities by providing each state expanding its Medicaid program with the same levels of Federal matching funds regardless of when it chooses to expand the program, Protect Our Care released a new report, “A Tough Row to Hoe: How Republican Policies are Leaving Michigan’s Rural Health Care in the Dust.” The report looks at how Republican sabotage of the Affordable Care Act and relentless attacks on Medicaid expansion have done damage to rural residents of the state, who face both a lack of coverage and a lack of care in their communities.
Read the report here.
“Our report shows how President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have stopped at nothing to wreak havoc on our health care, resulting in especially devastating impacts in rural America,” said Brad Woodhouse, executive director at Protect Our Care. “Premiums have risen, coverage has been lost, and rural hospitals face constant uncertainty as rural health care is threatened. Medicaid expansion has been particularly crucial to expanding access to health care in rural communities and Senator Peters’ leadership on the SAME Act is a major step towards encouraging more states to expand Medicaid and ensuring rural Americans will have access to the health care coverage they so desperately need.”
By The Numbers: Rural Health In Michigan
11 percent of Michiganders living in rural areas are uninsured, compared to 9 percent of Michiganders living in nonrural areas.
Since the Affordable Care Act, the adult uninsured rate has fallen by 11 percent in rural parts of Michigan.
25 percent of Michiganders living in rural areas have health coverage through Medicaid.
The Affordable Care Act led to a $571 million reduction in Michigan uncompensated care costs. Between 2013 and 2015, Michigan hospitals’ uncompensated care costs decreased by $571 million, or roughly 45 percent.
634,300 Michiganders became newly eligible for coverage when Michigan expanded Medicaid.
18 rural hospitals in Michigan are at a high financial risk of closing. This represents roughly 25.4 percent of the state’s rural hospitals.
In Michigan, where lawmakers expanded Medicaid, one rural hospital has closed since 2010. The one hospital that did close did so two years before the state expanded Medicaid:
Cheboygan Memorial Hospital (MI-01, closed in 2012)