Lack of rural hospitals could be campaign issue for 2020

Local News
Make It Count

BOLIVAR, Mo. — Heading into an election year, candidates could use the lack of rural hospitals across Missouri and the country to build up a platform.  

Donald Babb, CEO of Citizens Memorial Hospital in Bolivar, says while candidates may make promises, he’s not sure if they’ll be able to keep them when they take office.

“I think you hear a lot of them talk about it, but you don’t see a lot of activity,” Babb said. “Once they get into office, they find other priorities. All the lawmakers in our area, we’re in contact with continually and they know the struggles, but also they understand the limitations of the state and what they can do.”

This hospital in Bolivar has been pretty successful, but that has not been the case for other rural hospitals that are struggling with debt and some even closing.

“I think there’s a perception that hospitals make a lot of money,” Babb said. “That’s not really true. Some of the facilities or communities don’t have clinics, you know, and so there’s no one there to provide any type of care to them.”

This can leave many Missourians in a tough spot. Some say it could become a major campaign issue for 2020. But if lawmakers create a platform on trying to fix the rural hospital crisis, will they follow through in office?

“I think you hear a lot of them talk about it, but you don’t see a lot of activity,” Babb said. “Once they get into office, they find other priorities. All the legislative people within our immediate area, we’re in contact with continually and they understand the struggles but also they understand the limitations of the state and what they can do.”

The Missouri 2020 Regular Legislative Session starts at the beginning of the new year.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local Sports

More Local Sports

World News

More World News
Make It Count

Trending Stories

Washington DC Bureau

Washington DC Bureau

Newsfeed Now

More Newsfeed Now