Franken Urges Super Committee To Spare Rural Hospitals

Sen. Al Franken worries that the so-called congressional “super committee” could create super problems for Minnesota’s rural hospitals.

The Minnesota Democrat sent a letter to leaders of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction urging them to keep in mind that rural hospitals rely on Medicare reimbursements.

“Critical access hospitals serve some of our most vulnerable populations, including rural seniors, and ensure that emergency rooms and life-saving hospital services remain available to rural residents,” Franken wrote. “Any reduction in critical access hospital Medicare reimbursements or changes to designation could seriously endanger the health of rural communities that depend on their services.”

Hospitals with the critical access designation are in about 80 communities all across the state.

The 12-member super committee is supposed to reach an agreement before Thanksgiving Day on how to reduce the country’s deficit. Otherwise, major cuts are to occur in federal programs.

U.S. senators and representatives have urged the committee to save all kinds of programs dear to their hearts.