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Rural America Needs Medicare for All Now


Rural America Needs Medicare for All Now

Barb Kalbach

Rural America is facing a health care emergency – and Medicare for All is the answer.

Hospitals in rural Iowa, where I live, are closing or teetering on the brink of closure at an alarming rate. Over a hundred have shut down since 2005, and hundreds more are on life support. In some counties, they no longer deliver babies.



Unfortunately, so much of rural America has bought into Ronnie Raygun’s “government is the problem” narrative (cue Lee Greenwood’s God Bless The USA here) that the “rugged individual” meme rules the day. Rural America has consistently voted against Medicare for All. Ain’t that America. Wake up rural America; vote for your best interests.



Trump regime 2018 changes to Medicare are resulting in many walk-in clinics and other rural medical facilities closing this year, further exacerbating the urban/rural divide.

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I don’t doubt what Barb writes or that the story was well intended, I live in a rural area myself, but it’s a divider on the subject. This subject is too important for that, All of America needs Expanded, Improved Medicare for All, now.



Rural health care is a problem here in Canada as well even with single payer. The problem is it hard to justify putting expensive machinery into small towns where said equipment might only be used a few times a year. Added to this Doctors tend to want to live in major cities simply because Cities offer more of what they think important to them.

Geographically the USA at advantage here as in the lower 48 there are not near as many Communities that are as isolated by distance from major Centers as up here in Canada so there no reason the US could not vastly improve access in rural areas. At the end of the day however, I do not see too many systems that would allow rural areas the same type of access.

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Hi SuspiraDeProfundis: Maybe they will have to offer BIG bonuses to get doctors and nurses out in the smaller town areas. A guarantee of x amount of dollars to stay for x amount of years. Maybe too, they will find that getting to know their patients is a gift in itself. And maybe—after a while, more doctors would return to be doctors, instead just prescription writers. : )



They have tried these incentives here in Canada and while they sometimes work it always a struggle. As example look to a place like Houston British Columbia. They used to have one Doctor up in this area and he was busy as heck looking after all the patients in the region. His issue was not money it was stress. He finally retired and the town tried all manner of incentives to get Doctors up there.

People that live in that region tend to be persons that like things like hunting, snowmobiling camping and the like . Doctors spending 8+ years in medical school tend not to go in for that sort of stuff. They want to go to conferences , see live theater, go to museums, hob nob with others at private Golf courses.

It not a financial thing as much as it a lifestyle thing.

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Wise Owl- Right. Farmers have always been the backbone of this country. Stand up for yourself and family with MFA. And break up these big AG behemoths. If anybody deserves the riches of this country it’s you.



HI SuspiraDeprofundis… Hmmm I read that a Kaiser Hospital in CA is going to offer free training for the graduates of the 1st 4 or 5 years of medical school…maybe, if there are real politicians in Canada , they could have the government offer free training in exchange for a number of years working in far flung places. Besides, if enough people took up this offer, the medical schools would have more graduates who have already trained together and who could work together too once they graduate. A group of medical people who trained together could more easily go to far flung places with medical crews already in concert. That could be a wonderful way of training more people, Incentives can sometimes work wonders. : )



This is a fine informative news feature and commentary, Barb Kalbach.

While I like this essay and your contributions to Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, of which I am a member, and while I agree with “Rural America Needs Medicare for All,” how do we convince our Congresspeople, 3 of Iowa’s 4 being Democrats?

Have you looked at the official sites of US Representatives Abby Finkenauer, Cindy Axne, and Dave Loebsack? A quick scan reveals the usual Democratic Party generalities, “Improve our health care system and expand coverage and services,” Abby F.; and “access to affordable, quality health care,” Dave L.

Perhaps they’ll come along, if Medicare for All gains traction. They are not leaders on health care, and they all need to raise a lot of cash for their campaigns. I’ll keep wishing for Medicare for All, too, and we’ll see if it makes headway.