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Duluth News Tribune – Our view: Rural health care woes demand action

Al Franken is far from the first one to sound an alarm about the lack of health care access and the shortage of health care workers in rural America. Entire TV shows (“Northern Exposure”) and movies (“Doc Hollywood”) have been based on the problem.

But the U.S. senator from Minnesota told the News Tribune editorial board Tuesday that a report he and his staff prepared during the past six months, including information and input from 28 community roundtable discussions statewide, can go a long way toward finally finding and funding solutions.

“It will have influence,” Franken vowed of the report, “Stepping Up to the Challenge: Keeping Rural America Healthy,” which was released Tuesday at the Minnesota Rural Health Conference in Duluth. More than 500 rural health care providers, local officials and policy experts were at the conference.

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