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Report: Obamacare helps rural areas

By Northern Plains News

While there is much debate about the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and insurance, the legislation is credited with getting more doctors and other health professionals into the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest, according to a new report.

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The National Health Service Corps received a funding boost under the ACA, which meant more loan repayments for health care providers who agree to practice in underserved areas.

The program began in 2008. Since then, South Dakota has received assistance for 94 health care workers including physicians, nurses, dentists and other professionals. The comparable numbers in nearby states include North Dakota, 97; Minnesota, 348; Montana, 275; Wyoming, 95; Iowa, 165; and Nebraska, 119.

Fifty percent of health care professionals receiving loan repayment assistance work in Community Health Centers. The report also found that about half of Corps scholars are minorities.

The full report, “Helping Primary Care Clinicians Practice in the Communities Where They are Needed Most,” is available at