SeMo Congresswoman Pleased with Restoration of Rural Health Funds in Bill

DECEMBER 14, 2005 - Posted at 8:02 a.m. CST

WASHINGTON (AP) - Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson is now backing a major spending bill she helped defeat last month over cuts in money for rural health care.

Negotiators have restored more than $90 million to the bill specifically for health programs in rural areas.

The money would go to community health centers, programs to attract doctors to rural areas and similar purposes.

Emerson was one of just 22 House Republicans who joined all 201 Democrats to defeat the earlier version of the bill in November.

Yesterday, Emerson said the biggest challenge in rural health is training and keeping medical professionals.  She says there's a direct link between the programs that would be increased by the new bill and the overall health in rural communities.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)