Share Your Story
You may not know Rachelle Schultz of Winona, MN—but you probably can appreciate the concerns she has for her rural community. Rachelle is the president and CEO of Winona Health in southeast Minnesota with a population of 27,000 residents. With all the many real challenges facing rural America, at a recent AHA media roundtable, she shared her concerns about the additional burdens her community will face if her neighbors lose needed health insurance coverage. Rachelle worries that, if patients lose coverage, they will delay getting needed care until their health needs become acute and spiral out of control. “What happens is they stay home, and they show up at the emergency room,” she said. This drives up the cost of care for everybody. From 2013 to 2016, Winona Health saw a 33 percent decline in uninsured patients, and visits to the hospital ED fell. But if Winonans cannot maintain their coverage, these improvements in health and costs could be lost.
This week, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the American Health Care Act. It is essential that they hear Winona Health’s story—and yours—before they do. Share real-life stories with your member of Congress on the impact on your patients and the community—especially children, the poor and the disabled—if tens of millions of Americans are added to the uninsured rolls. Now is the time to make your voice REALLY count.
Gene Woods, AHA 2017 Board Chair
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