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Rep. Duarte Joins the Congressional Bipartisan Rural Health Caucus

WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman John Duarte (CA-13) joined the Congressional Bipartisan Rural Health Caucus, a coalition of lawmakers developing policy solutions to improve health care delivery in rural and remote communities.

“Now more than ever, lawmakers need to act. That is why I’ve joined the Congressional Bipartisan Rural Health Caucus. This newly formed caucus will promote and advance legislation and policy that increase access to quality, affordable health care and mental health services for rural Americans. The main policy solutions that the caucus focuses on are stemming hospital closures, ensuring fair and adequate reimbursement rates, strengthening the health workforce, reducing health inequities, and expanding telehealth and other innovative care delivery models,” said Rep. Duarte.

Earlier this year, the closure of Madera Community Hospital's sent shockwaves throughout our Valley. These issues facing Madera shed light on the larger problem of healthcare delivery in rural communities. Financial strains, workforce shortages, and limited access to resources are jeopardizing the health and safety of residents. Across the nation over 180 rural hospitals have closed their doors since 2005. This trend is catastrophic for rural communities like Madera, where rural healthcare centers are often the only places to receive medical care, and economically support 1 out of every 12 rural jobs.

“It's absolutely vital that we not only work tirelessly to keep existing hospitals afloat but also fortify rural healthcare for generations to come. Our lives and those of our neighbors depend on it,” said Rep. Duarte.