Rural Health Care

Bubba73 (Jud McCranie) / Wikimedia Commons

A startling number of children eligible for Medicaid or PeachCare in Georgia still don’t have insurance coverage, a recent study has found. Another reason kids don’t see doctors as often as they should is also a factor for adults: access. It’s not just cost, but the lack of physicians, especially in rural Georgia.


University of South Carolina Press

Fifty years ago, babies in the U.S. were three times more likely to die before reaching a first birthday. And the problems driving infant and maternal mortality were even worse in rural areas. Diane Cantor set out to be part of a change. She left college in the early 1970s to work for a federal program providing prenatal care to women in North Georgia. Her experiences inspired a novel called “When Nighttime Shadows Fall.” Diane Cantor lives in Savannah.

GPB News / Emily Cureton

The Georgia legislative session has begun. Among many bills in play: a sweeping plan to revitalize rural Georgia. This might mean paying people who move to the country, subsidizing internet connections, and making it easier for small hospitals to stay open and in the black. But how all this attention  translates to real improvements for people outside Atlanta remains to be seen.  We talk with Sharon Wright Austin, a political scientist at the University of Florida. And Mark Niesse, a reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

jypsygen

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality. Those regulations prohibit broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service. But a lot of people still don’t understand what net neutrality is all about, so we break it down. Then, we take a look at how rural healthcare initiatives in Georgia will suffer without net neutrality in place.

For most of us, our idea of politics is influenced by what we see on TV. Millions of Americans regularly watch shows like “The West Wing,” “Veep,” and “House of Cards." Georgia native Jay Carson worked as supervising producer and political consultant for Netflix’s “House of Cards.” We talk with him about how to write engaging political drama in 2017, and how much the fictional White House resembles the real one.

Wikimedia Commons / Bidgee

Hospital closures make it harder to get health care in rural Georgia. And they hit the economy hard, too. Yet, one South Georgia county’s attempt to open a new for-profit hospital is creating controversy. 

Kevin O'Mara / Flickr

Five rural hospitals closed their doors between 2013 and 2016, and many more face potential financial collapse. One effort to help curb the problem of rural health care access is the Two Georgias initiative. That program is a collaboration between healthcare providers across the state, designed to expand access to quality health care in rural parts of Georgia.

First, Sweetwater Mission is Atlanta’s largest food pantry, and it focuses on the city’s undocumented workers. Managers at the mission say they recently turned down $35,000 of funding because it came with the stipulation that it should only be used to serve people who are in the country legally. Joining us is the Director of Operations for Sweetwater Mission, Mark Zangari, and Solveig Cunningham professor at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

For the hundreds of rural U.S. hospitals struggling to stay in business, health policy decisions made in Washington, D.C., this summer could make survival a lot tougher.

The Affordable Care Act replacement plan championed by President Trump would hurt low-income people in rural areas that voted heavily for the Republican last fall, according to an NPR analysis of data on proposed subsidy changes from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

A Middle Georgia Hospital Seeks A Public Fix

Mar 9, 2017

Bonita Johnson suffers with the lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

Twice she went to the hospital emergency room because she had trouble breathing, the last time about a year ago. That ER was in Monroe County Hospital in Forsyth.

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