Rural States With Much To Gain Under Reform Also Feature Most Vocal Opponents
The biggest opponents of a health care overhaul predominantly reside in rural states. The Los Angeles Times reports: "Some of the most vociferous opposition to the proposals before the House and Senate comes from residents of rural states that could benefit most if the present system is revamped. ... Although there is a consensus in Congress for keeping the current employer-based system of medical insurance, that system is riddled with holes in coverage that disproportionately affect rural states."
"In addition, both in the West and South, such states tend to set higher thresholds for Medicaid eligibility, leaving few options for low-income earners who can't afford individual insurance coverage. Moreover, residents of rural states often have lower incomes than those in other parts of the country. It's more difficult to find healthcare providers. And they have little, if any, choice in the private insurance market. ... Given that reality, it may not be surprising that senators from these states have been the most active in the effort to salvage a bipartisan compromise on healthcare" (Oliphant, 9/2).