27 Feb Opinion: Rural medicine under threat in Congress
“Americans across the country face health care challenges every day, but those challenges are particularly noticeable in rural areas where access to doctors and medical treatment remains a critical issue.
In comparison to urban areas, rural residents have greater distances to travel to see a doctor, which is then compounded by the fact that doctors are often scarcer in these regions. There are less than 40 primary care doctors for every 100,000 people in rural areas. There continues to be a noticeable wage earning gap in rural areas as often times folks are working hard with less of a paycheck than their urban counterparts.
For these reasons, the 340B Drug Pricing Program is extremely beneficial for rural hospitals and residents. For 25 years, the 340B program enabled underserved patients to get the outpatient medicines and medical care they needed. The program worked simply: Pharmaceutical manufacturers discounted drugs for hospitals that treated a disproportionate share of low-income patients, and in return, they were guaranteed a market (and notable profits) in the Medicaid system.”