One of the reasons that I am hosting these conversations is to give a voice to the voiceless. Whether it be veterans, minority groups, elderly, or the LGBTQ community there are so many people in North Carolina that are not represented well by the current politicians. This needs to end.
A big area where the government could do a lot of good is in rural communities, and particularly the small hospitals that operate in these communities, serving many elderly and low-income patients. The sad reality is that currently many of these hospitals are closing due to the high overhead, and low amount of patients that can afford the services they desperately need and deserve.
We should help support the rural community in the following way:
- Allow the VA to offer services to patients at these hospitals. Around 40% of veterans who are enrolled in VA health care live in rural areas. That is over 3 million veterans who need to have convenient and comprehensive coverage. Imbedding VA operations in existing rural facilities allows for a rapid expansion of services for our veterans.VA
- Increase patient flow rural hospitals. These patients are needed in order to keep the vital health and safety services provided by the rural hospitals. Without such hospitals, rural communities and veterans would face increased hardship and difficulty receiving medical attention.
- Bolster the economics of rural communities. If what I propose is implemented, there will be significant benefits to the community through job creation, an influx of money to the hospital, and improved health and medical services at the hospitals.
Veterans form the foundation upon which this great nation was built, and they deserve our attention, care, and respect. Allowing the VA to offer service in rural hospitals would be the right step in creating a more comprehensive system in which to fully care for the men and women who have sacrificed themselves for our freedom.