Rural Hospitals Brace for Healthcare Repeal - Diverse Health

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Rural Hospitals Brace for Healthcare Repeal

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by Shefali Luthra

CONNELLSVILLE, Penn. — Judy Keller, 69, has always relied on Highlands Hospital for medical care, just as her parents did before her. When she walks through the halls, she recognizes faces from the community and even from her days working as a school teacher. The 64-bed facility, she says, is a mainstay of this rural Southwest Pennsylvania town.

“This hospital all my life has been here,” said Keller, now retired. “[It] helps a lot of people who don’t have adequate health care coverage — and I don’t know what they would do without it.” Aside from providing health care to a largely poor population, it provides hundreds of jobs in a town that locals say never recovered after industries such as coal mining and glass manufacturing disappeared.

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