While much of the attention that is given to home care support services involves men and women in urban and suburban regions of the country, there are still millions who live in rural communities. It’s these rural communities -the men and women here- who worry about access to various services with pending cuts to various programs that are being suggested and even implemented in various states across the country.
With the Republican push to replace the Affordable Care Act -viewed by some as having failed to trim health care costs- there is much confusion about how this will impact those in rural regions of the country.
A disproportionate amount of state level income and sales tax generated is usually doled out to the cities and regions with a higher concentration of citizens, and that often leaves rural communities scrambling to make do with the scraps left behind in the budget. That doesn’t offer valuable resources for health care or home care.
NBC News reported in the article, Health Care in Rural Communities Uncertain as Medicaid Cuts Loom, written by Vaughn Hillyard:
“We know that rural hospitals disproportionally serve our low-income, older, sicker populations in the country, and to the extent that we can assure that they have the insurance there to pay for that care will be vital for rural hospital viability,” said Mark Holmes, a professor at the University of North Carolina and director of the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center.
The board of the hospital that Hicks is taking a chance on said the facility was financially insolvent just two years ago. Sayre’s residents had voted in favor of two separate one-cent sales tax increases — in 2007 and 2012 — to try and save it from closure.”
When hospitals struggle to remain operational and when the local government agencies fail to provide adequate support, it usually means those residents are left with fewer options, if any at all. Finding home care is already a challenge for men and women -mostly seniors- within these rural communities.
As budget cuts take aim at various programs, including in home health care services, gaining access to the right level of care and support may very well become even more challenging. Too often the vast majority of attention with health care and in home care services is focused on cities, but the men and women in rural regions also deserve the same level of support.