ER-only rural hospitals, no in-patients, no discounted drugs, more


There is irony for you. Folks in deeply conservative states only having any sort of hospital care due to “big gummit socialism”.



Rural emergency hospitals are a good idea. Time can be critical in a medical emergency, and distances can be deadly. If you have a stroke and are 30 minutes from help then you are in trouble. Something like cancer care or prostate exams can be done more leisurely.



Leisurely prostate exams are the best kind.

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Money isn’t the only challenge, rural hospitals and clinics have a hard time staffing their facilities with qualified people. Hospitals that aren’t converting are looking more at integrating AI into their operations. Problem is, you still need people to perform tests and deliver care.

The for profit health care system in the US is broken.


I have heard of plans by local governments to pay a person’s way through med school, in return for the person working in health care in the area that funded his education. The “Northern Exposure” TV series was about a fictitious New Yorker who accepted such an offer, and landed in a small town in Alaska, after graduation.

It was a pretty good show too. Had the requisite slate of odd characters, but it was interesting.


In addition they tell us rural hospitals are often out of plan for many PPO/HMO health plans. That forces patients to go to big cities in plan for treatment. Further undermines the finances of the rural hospital.

Those hospitals are closing. Increasingly if you have an emergency you are likely to be flown to a big city hospital by (expensive, uninsured) air ambulance. May take an hour to arrive. And longer to reach medical care.

What do expectant mothers do if the hospital is hours away?

We need to do better on this problem. Declining rural population (lower birth rates and mechanized farming) is an additional factor. Less population to support facilities financially.

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But when you are bleeding profusely, you want to go to the nearest place. If the place is not “in network”, they are not bound by the insurance company rate schedule. They can gouge patients for as much as they want. All hail “free enterprise”!


Yep. But all those elective surgeries and procedure do much to cover the cost of your hospital and help pay their staff. Loss of that income means your hospital runs at a loss, cannot hold staff, and may close (unless you figure out how to fund it).

No hospital means EMTs arrive and do their best to stop bleeding while you ride in the air ambulance.

This modern medicine today!!

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Where you live is a choice. If you choose to live in the big city you choose to have a higher rent, neighbors thru a wall, and terrible parking. On the other side you probably get better restaurants, quick access to a hospital, and more socialization.

If you choose to live rural you are knowingly farther from medical care, have less choice in shopping, and can burn your garbage in the back yard if you want to.

I have little sympathy for people who complain about all the advantages others have while insisting on the “freeeeedom” ot living far away from all those advantages.

Tough luck, kids.


Every county used to have a hospital. The problem is those hospitals are closing. So now hospital may be 60 to 100 miles away.

Yes its a personal choice. People do live there.

Are you saying you don’t care?

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No. People make the conscious choice to live where they do. If health care is not one of their major priorities, then NOT having it readily available is something they have determined is appropriate for where they live. Oh, they SUDDENLY need an ER? Choices have consequences…


And if you happen to be traveling in the boonies and need care, it matters to you too.


I’m saying I support THEIR FREEDOM to make their own choices.



[quote=“rainphakir, post:14, topic:103030”]

Yeah, that would be the vastly-overstated summary.

I’m a bit tired of people yelling for freeeeedom and the freeeee market, then complaining

  • that their airport needs subsidies because it can’t pay its own way,

  • that immigrants are taking all the jobs and also they can’t find anyone to work

  • that they need subsidies because they can’t support a local hospital

  • that they have to have welfare because there are no jobs

  • that farms need subsidies because, um, because

  • and then complaining about “socialism” all the way to church.


The holding people accountable train is gathering momentum!

Keep in mind that the folks in rural counties overwhelmingly vote for candidates who promise small government and lower taxes. Less available health care is an example of small government and a consequence of tax rates that are too low.

It also should be noted that those who choose to live in higher tax states do so in order to get the social services low tax states inadequately provide. It seems grossly unfair to now ask these heavily taxed citizens to foot the bill to provide those services to rural folks who are unwilling to pay their fair share.

That’s a long way of saying I find it hard to care.


Yeah, but we have those buckets at the convenience store cash registers collecting change for Little Timmy’s cancer treatments and there is always GoFundMe.