Questions And Answers

September 24, 1993

QUESTION: "Health alliances" are generally predicated on being in urban areas with high populations. What will be the impact in rural areas, where I live? -- A.P.C., Snow Hill.

ANSWER: The "alliances" you refer to are new insurance cooperatives, created under the Clinton plan, that would arrange coverage for consumers in each region of the state.

It's true they work best in heavily populated areas where there are many doctors and hospitals eager to provide services. To ensure that rural areas also receive good services, an alliance could require urban-based health plans to provide services to places like Western Maryland and the Eastern Shore.

The Clinton plan also would invest federal funds in rural areas to help them build up community-based services. And, under the president's proposal, the National Health Services Corps would be expanded to reduce the shortage of doctors in various areas.

If you have questions about President Clinton's health reform program, we'd like to hear them. Call Sundial, The Baltimore Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800 (268-7736 Anne Arundel County). After you hear the greeting, punch in the four-digit code 4425 on your touch-tone phone. Responses may appear in future coverage of the president's program or in this column.

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