The current discussion regarding health care reform has a tremendous impact on rural America. One of the proposed funding cuts is to seniors’ Medicare benefits for skilled nursing facilities. At least in Kentucky, 55 percent of its nursing homes are located in rural areas, which means that rural areas may be hit particularly hard by any such Medicare cuts.
One article finds, “[S] eniors in rural America would shoulder approximately 25 percent of the total five year,
With less Medicare funding, it would not only hurt the quality of care for seniors, it also has an impact on rural economies which rely on nursing homes for employment. It would have a disproportionately negative impact on rural facilities, which make finding and retaining qualify staff more challenging that it already is.
Often times, nursing facilities may be the largest local employer, and those rural economies depend on such facilities for jobs and economic development. Cuts from Medicare could result in lost jobs, less hiring, and higher unemployment
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