Durbin: Trumpcare Threatens Rural Hospitals and The People Who Depend on Them

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today blasted Congressional Republicans for continuing to push their health care repeal bill even though it would jeopardize rural communities across the country.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Medicaid expansion, the rate of uninsured adults in rural Illinois communities dropped from 17 percent to 8 percent.  Today, 97 percent of all kids in Illinois have health insurance.  And in rural Illinois communities, half of all children get their health care through Medicaid.   However, the House-passed health care repeal bill would slash funding for Illinois’ Medicaid program by more than $40 billion, jeopardizing health care for children and families in rural communities and threatening to shut the doors of hospitals, community health centers, and clinics who serve them.

“As a Congressman and Senator, I have represented a lot of small towns in sparsely populated counties.  They value many things, but I’ll tell you what they value as much if not more than anything else: their local hospital.  The local hospital makes such a difference in small-town America.  It is not only a lifesaver, saving you from driving another 50 or 150 miles for quality care, it’s also a source of great employment,” said Durbin.  “Do you know what the bill that passed the House of Representatives will do to the rural and small-town hospitals in Illinois?  Don’t take my word for it, ask the Illinois Hospital Association.  They anticipate losing 60,000 jobs in Illinois because of the health care repeal bill that passed the House of Representatives.  And they know that many hospitals downstate and many in the inner city are going to be forced to cut back on services, if not close, as a result of it.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.

Letter from National Rural Health Association in opposition to the House-passed health care repeal bill is available here.

In March, Durbin released a report titled “TrumpCare: Less for More, An Analysis of the Impact of Repealing the Affordable Care Act on Illinois,” which details what Illinois stands to lose if President Trump and Congressional Republicans are successful in passing their legislation to repeal the ACA.  After requesting information from every hospital, public health department, and major medical society in the state, the report summarizes how the ACA has helped individuals, families, and providers in all 18 Illinois congressional districts, and provides information on the increased out-of-pocket costs and number of people in each congressional district that stand to lose health coverage under the Republican repeal bill.