So the warnings that rural America is going to take a major hit on health care may not have the kind of impact many might think. Rural voters might not change how they see their Republican politicians, despite getting stiffed by them on this and so many other issues. Still...
From a Conversation opinion piece, there are many who are still concerned:
(The) commitment to improving the health of rural Americans requires attention to the so-called upstream factors shaping rural health. That means preserving the safety net programs so vital in rural areas with underemployment and low-paying jobs, strengthening rural economies and investing in high-quality education. If our leaders are serious about reform that will lessen the rural-urban mortality gap, they should recognize the unique needs of rural America and ensure health care policy reflects how vital access to quality care is to their financial success – not to mention their well-being.
Researchers call it the “ruralmortalitypenalty.” While rates of mortality have steadily fallen in the nation’s urban areas, they have actually climbed for rural Americans. And the picture is even bleaker for specific groups, such as rural white women ... As researchers who study the mental and physical health of rural Americans, we believe this would have disastrous consequences.
The nature of rural employment, for example, is characterized by self-employment, seasonal work and lower-than-average pay. This means rural workers are less likely to get insurance through their jobs and thus face higher premiums when buying their own policies.
Both the House and Senate bills to repeal and replace Obamacare would drastically reduce rural Americans’ insurance coverage and significantly threaten the ability of many rural hospitals and clinics to keep their doors open. Analysts show that the bill would provide insufficient tax credits to pay for rural premium costs, drastically increase the price of rural premiums and increase uncompensated care in rural hospitals.