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President Barack Obama acknowledged at his Wednesday night press conference that rural hospitals were getting Medicaid reimbursements that may be too low. The President said

 “I think that a lot of Democrats have a lot of different ideas. Some of them had to do with regional disparities. For example, you’ve got some Democrats who are concerned that the Medicare reimbursement rates in their communities are too low, and so they’d like to see the bill incorporate higher rates for doctors and providers in rural communities to incentivize good care in those communities. That’s a legitimate concern. But the minute you bring up that concern, then that adds money, which means that we then have to find additional dollars. So this is just part of the normal give-and-take of the legislative process.”

A New York Times story noted afterward that rural hospitals and urban teaching hospitals share a concern that efforts to hold down increases in Medicare spending “could indeed cut services in some rural areas and from teaching hospitals, which receive extra payments because of higher costs.” 

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