Commentary: Rural hospitals are vanishing; keep Medicaid in Texas

Mike Williams, RCHC Board Member

RCHC made headlines in Austin, Texas when the Austin American Statesman published an Op Ed piece written by RCHC Board Member Mike Williams on the challenges facing rural and community hospitals today.

The commentary points out that 46 percent of children living in rural areas and small towns within Texas are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which are in danger. This dependency puts a large strain on rural hospitals that are also facing financial challenges. Since 2010, more than 15 percent of the rural hospitals that have closed across the U.S. are in Texas.

With steps designed to weaken the effect of the ACA underway, what’s certain is there is no solution for covering the growing number of counties where no exchange insurance is available for individuals. As for Medicaid, cutting funds and limiting program expansion would most certainly be devastating for families, rural hospitals and the communities they serve.

Read the full article: Commentary: Rural hospitals are vanishing; keep Medicaid in Texas