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Panel discussion focuses on future of Rural Health Care

Published: Friday, March 17, 2017 1:43 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 12:48 p.m. CDT
(Photo contributed)
Annette Schnabel, president/CEO of Perry Memorial Hospital, will be part of a health care panel Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Princeton Public Library. Schnabel has recently been featured on the PBS News Hour and on National Public Radio discussing the potential impact on rural Illinois of plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

PRINCETON — As Congress debates dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and passing new health care legislation, many Americans are concerned about how potential changes in the law would affect them, their families, and their communities.

Three local health care experts will address these concerns in a one-hour panel discussion titled, “The Future of Health Care in the Heartland,” from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at the Princeton Public Library.

The panelists will be Annette Schnabel, president/CEO of Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton; Dr. Gregg Davis, Princeton physician and chief medical officer of the Illinois Rural Community Care Organization (IRCCO); and Pat Schou, executive director of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network and of the IRCCO. Deb Roush, who works as an ACA navigator assisting people in signing up for the ACA, will be the panel moderator.

The panel will discuss what changes in the health care law may mean for people in rural Illinois. How would health care delivery, affordability, and hospital access be affected by changes to or the repeal of the Affordable Care Act? What would the effect be on our local economy? What would the effect be on families, young people, older residents, and people with disabilities in our area?

When asked recently, on the National Public Radio program “On Point,” about the possible repeal and replacement of the ACA, Schnabel commented, “That’s obviously a concern for us because we have a higher Medicare and Medicaid population – we have an older population in the rural area and also a lower income population --so that makes more people dependent on those two programs. As I look at the ACA and the potential repeal of it, there’s potential impact on our residents having coverage.”

Voices from the Prairie, a local grassroots citizens’ movement that promotes the importance of a well-informed, involved citizenry, is the sponsor of the March 23 panel discussion.


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