June 9, 2018
Former Kansas House Minority Leader and candidate for Congress in Kansas’ second district, Paul Davis, made a campaign stop in Hiawatha on Saturday.
Davis toured Hiawatha Community Hospital, which was the seventh county stop on a district-wide tour of rural healthcare facilities. Davis launched the tour last spring to engage Kansas’ innovative network of long-term care facilities, community stakeholders, and hospitals in a discussion about the challenges and opportunities facing rural healthcare providers, and how Congress can help.
“Rural Kansas cannot exist without a strong, accessible health care system, which is why this is my top campaign priority,” Davis said. “Hiawatha – as well as communities throughout the second district – face serious challenges in providing comprehensive medical care to Kansans. They need elected officials who understand what those challenges are. Unfortunately, Congress has never been more out of touch, and I want to get the lines of communication open.”
Davis visited at length with Hiawatha Community Hospital CEO Jeff Shelton about all the outstanding work being done to make the hospital a place that not only provides exceptional local care, but is also an exceptional employer for 250 employees. Additionally, they discussed how Congress can better support rural hospitals through initiatives such as telemedicine, incentivizing more to enter the nursing profession, and advocating for Congress to lift automatic healthcare cuts to Medicare, which came about as part of a 2011 budget deal in Washington (also referred to as sequestration).
There are also policy provisions already in place that need to be protected. Davis’ tour came two days after politicians in DC launched a new legal attack on Kansans’ healthcare, taking particular aim at current protections in place for those who suffer from pre-existing conditions.
“Nothing will devastate a family’s security as swiftly or as irreversibly as a health care crisis,” Davis said. “It’s not only physically and financially terrifying, it also robs us of our freedom to live full, happy lives. Eliminating protections for pre-existing conditions will devastate Kansas families, and it will have a ripple effect on hospitals like this one, which are working so hard to provide high-quality, affordable care with limited resources.”