Arrington takes rural hospital plea to the House floor

Arrington takes rural hospital plea to the House floor

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Lubbock Congressman Jodey Arrington takes his plea for rural hospitals to the House floor. 

In an impassioned speech, the congressman introduces the HEART Act.

That's the Healthcare Enhancement for America's Rural Towns act we told you about Tuesday.

It extends two Medicare payment programs Arrington says hospitals depend on to stay open.

"These programs account for less than one-tenth of one percent of all Medicare expenditures, but they go a long way to ensuring that rural community hospitals with a higher percentage of Medicare patients have adequate funding to serve their unique populations," Arrington said. "And just as importantly, we do this in a way that is budget-neutral and without spending any additional taxpayer monies."

The National Rural Health Association reports there are 673 hospitals vulnerable to closing. That's about one-third of small town hospitals across the country.

The NHRA suggests losing all of those would cost 99,000 health care jobs, 137,000 community jobs, and $277 billion loss in GDP.

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