FUTURE JOB LOSSES AT RURAL HOSPITALS; Congressional Record Vol. 155, No. 110
(House of Representatives - July 21, 2009)

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[Page H8438]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  (Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania asked and was given permission to 
address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address 
the issue of job loss at rural hospitals if the current health proposal 
were to become law. The Democrats' public plan assumes reimbursement 
rates based on Medicare.
  In the July letter from the Blue Dog Coalition to Speaker Pelosi, the 
coalition reported that Medicare reimbursement pays, on average, 20-30 
percent lower than private plans. Actual costs are made up through 
private insurance reimbursement, which will be gone if the Democratic 
plan plays out. This will have a severe negative impact on rural 
hospitals, and it will leave us asking: Where are the jobs?
  Many providers suffer financial losses as a result of treating 
Medicare patients. The lower rates make it more difficult for rural 
providers, who serve higher percentages of elderly and low-income 
patients. A new public plan with rates similar to Medicare's will 
create a financial result that will be unsustainable for even the 
Nation's most efficient, high-quality providers. The result is a loss 
of good jobs in rural America.
  During this time of economic downturn, we need to be focused on the 
retention of existing jobs and on encouraging and not discouraging our 
rural hospitals.