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Health Care Reform Offering Much Needed Help to Rural Communities



September 24, 2010

CARRBORO, N.C. - Money available through health care reform and the federal stimulus plan is removing road blocks and improving access to health care for people across the state, particularly in rural areas. Piedmont Health Systems is one health provider that's touting those positive impacts. They received $1 million to rebuild their health center in Prospect Hill.

CEO Brian Toomey explains how vital health care reform is to his organization.

"What people really need to think about it is what's going happen to all of these places if health care reform doesn't go forward? What's the real hope for any kind of health care for rural areas?"

The affordable health insurance that is part of health care reform will specifically impact rural areas, Toomey points out, noting that's where many self-employed people, such as farmers, live.

Critics of health care reform express concerns over the cost and fear that employers may eventually drop health care coverage, thereby adding to the problem.

Political pundits predict that the gradual progress of health care reform and its cost have the potential of affecting the November election and sending many Democrats home. Adam Searing with the North Carolina Justice Center Health Access Coalition explains why.

"It's sort of like taking an oil tanker and making a three point turn. It's not something you can do very quickly. So that gives politicians a risk."

Among the benefits promised with health care reform is a premium assistance tax credit that would be available to a family of four making less than $88,000 a year.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC
 

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