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Senate GOP health bill seen as lethal for many rural hospitals

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Some see the healthcare bill put together by the Senate Republican leadership as dooming some already cash-short rural hospitals mostly because the legislation would slash Medicaid funding.

“These hospitals are hanging on by their fingernails,” Maggie Elehwany, vice president for government affairs for the National Rural Health Association, told CNN. “If you leave this legislation as is, it’s a death sentence for individuals in rural America.”

Meanwhile a new report by the Chartis Center for Rural Health says the bill could lead to thousands of rural healthcare workers being thrown out of work.

The Senate leadership’s bill could cost rural hospitals $1.3 billion in lost revenue, Chartis estimates, and likely push nearly 150 more rural hospitals into the red.

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