Closing of rural hospitals
How tragic that 18 of Kentucky’s 45 rural hospitals are in danger of closing, and the president of the rural hospital association says that’s a conservative estimate. How can we let this happen? These hospitals mean life-or-death access to care – or not – for millions of Kentuckians.
Since the late ‘80s, Physicians for a National Health Program has proposed a national single-payer system that would assure funding of every hospital through global budgeting. Hospitals’ income would be stable and predictable. Bureaucracy geared to billing, profits and bill collection would be eliminated. Responsiveness to the needs of the community and quality of care would replace financial performance as the criteria for judging the value of a hospital. Every hospital that serves a community would have the funds to care for its patients.
The World Health Organization has ranked U.S. health system performance as 37th despite having the wealth to be the best. The majority of us are for this improved Medicare for All, single-payer system. We must insist that the legislation that would make it real be passed.