I was disappointed with "Rural-relief bills win partial AHA backing" (June 28, p. 8), which discusses the American Hospital Association's only partial backing of rural hospital relief legislation.
As a longtime advocate for rural hospitals, I can think of no better effort to assist rural healthcare than the legislation that has been introduced in the House and Senate by the House Rural Health Care Coalition and the Senate Rural Health Caucus. Iowa hospitals have worked closely with lawmakers during the development of these significant legislative initiatives.
We all got a glimpse of the AHA's hard work recently when the AHA helped persuade HHS to withdraw a regulatory proposal that would have devastated the manpower shortage designations in rural counties.
The AHA is a strong advocate for all hospitals. Our focus this year is to work with Congress and the White House to get real relief from the devastation of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. The AHA has been, and will continue to be, an effective leader in that effort.
Association of Iowa Hospitals and Health Systems