Rural healthcare is in crisis.
Rural Texas, in fact all of rural America, is in the midst of a full blown healthcare crisis. Out here in District 11, it is not just a matter of being able to pay for healthcare. Increasingly it is about whether there will be any healthcare at all. In some cases it is even a matter of life and death.
We have lost 27 rural hospitals in Texas since 2010. 26% of rural hospitals in Texas are at risk of closure. There are hospitals in only about half of the 29 counties of District 11. If President Trump’s planned cuts to Medicaid go into effect, these hospitals will be pushed one step closer to financial failure. We may not be able to bring closed hospitals back to life, but we must make sure that none of our other rural hospitals close. The easiest step to stop the hemorrhaging is to prevent the loss of the 115 waiver program and to keep Medicaid funding in place at the current level. This is vital. Then we need to explore creative, new ways to bring quality healthcare services to our rural counties that do not have any.