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Loebsack: Rural Iowa needs improved access to health care

Congressman Dave Loebsack -- CROPPEDU.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack
Iowa’s Second Congressional District

 

Improving access to health care in rural communities is a serious, persistent challenge.  That’s why I have focused on making it easier for families to get the care they need, no matter where they live.

Rural Iowa is facing a shortage of providers, which is why I worked to help develop a strategy to fix this issue after hearing directly from patients and providers across Iowa.  I’m a strong supporter of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), which helps train and place primary care professionals in rural communities where those providers can be hard to find, and recently called for strong funding to support this important initiative.  Additionally, I introduced legislation to create a program similar to NHSC so rural communities can receive more access to health care specialists like podiatrists and optometrists. I have also pushed for Community Health Centers across the state and nation to be fully funded.

Finally, I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of both the bipartisan Rural Community Hospital Demonstration Extension Act, which helps small rural hospitals with reimbursement costs, as well as the Critical Access Hospital Relief Act, which rolls back a requirement that’s tying the hands of smaller hospitals and preventing them from serving many patients that need their services.

By helping providers in more rural areas manage their costs, savings will be passed on to tens of thousands of patients across our state.  Moving forward, I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft health care legislation that works for Iowans living in rural communities.  I look forward to working with you on these important issues.