News Column

Rahall: Community Hospitals Vital to Local Economies, Ensure Access to Healthcare in Rural Areas

August 7, 2014

MADISON, W.Va., Aug. 7 -- Rep. Nick Joe Rahall, D-W.Va. (3rd CD), issued the following news release:

At the groundbreaking for the new Boone Memorial Hospital in Madison, U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) Thursday lauded the building of a new state-of-the-art health facility in southern West Virginia and argued for increased Federal investments in expanding access to quality medical care in rural areas.

"If you were asked to list the most valuable gems in a community's treasure chest, certainly a hospital would always rank near the top. All of us here know how vital it is to have healthcare as close to your front door as humanly possible. Add the hard numbers of Boone Memorial's contributions to the local economy - the payroll and jobs created, the local contracts, enhanced tax base - and its value soars. That's why reinvesting in community hospitals is a no brainer, and something I strongly support," said Rahall.

The new Boone Memorial Hospital is supported by a $31.8 million low-interest loan from the USDA Rural Development, which Rahall advocated and announced in 2012. Rahall has consistently supported USDA Rural Development funding and been a vocal opponent of proposed budget cuts in rural health care.

"I have fought Republican Presidents, and Democratic Presidents. Right now I am in a whopper of a fight with the current occupant in the White House, as well as the Republican Leadership in Congress, to keep funding for critical USDA Rural Development investments - like water infrastructure, to ensure clean drinking water and proper sanitation systems for our people; and health care facilities like this one, to ensure access to quality medical care for our people," said Rahall.

"My fight also includes preserving and strengthening the Medicare program - not only to ensure seniors have health insurance to get the care they need, but also to ensure our doctors and hospitals get the payments they need to keep their doors open," said Rahall.

The new hospital, which will include approximately 50,000 square feet of new space and 25 private rooms, will provide quality medical care for Boone County residents that they would not otherwise be able to obtain without an hour or more drive. With a more than $5 million annual payroll and more than 174 full- and part-time employees, it also will contribute to economic growth in the area.

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Source: Targeted News Service

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