Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center President Tedd Mitchell said the individual mandate won't help those in rural America who can't find health care in their regions. "What everybody talks about with the Affordable Care Act is making sure that everybody has insurance coverage. And having insurance coverage in West Texas does not mean having access to care." In West Texas, in particular, there are 54 counties that are considered "frontier counties" because very few people live there, and 32 have no hospital.
A similar situation exists northward in the Great Plains, and "for a lot of rural America," Mitchell said. "While making sure everybody has an insurance card is a noble thing, it really doesn’t address our needs.” (Read more)