home

Archive for January, 2007

The Battle of the Map

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

Updating a story covered a couple of weeks ago here, residents of towns set to be erased from official state maps in Georgia have gained the support of the governor in their effort to be put back on the map.

Gov. Sonny Perdue […] sent a letter to Georgia Board of Transportation Chairman Mike Evans, asking the board to revisit its decision to remove almost 500 small towns and communities from the state’s official highway map.

Perdue asked the state DOT to restore the names after receiving a barrage of complaints from residents of the affected communities.

Last Year in Review

Friday, January 5th, 2007

The Brownfield Network did a review of the “big stories” in agriculture in 2006. It is an hour long audio report that can be listened to streaming or downloaded. It is mainstream agriculture news, but a decent review nonetheless.

Rural Roundup

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007
  • On Dec. 1, 2006 Iowa farms had 17.2 million hogs, the most ever counted in a December inventory and the largest number of hogs on Iowa farms since September 1955.
  • One year after the Sago Mine disaster miners are still working with subpar safety equipment.
  • Proposed legislation in Arizona would tax businesses that located in rural areas at a lower rate.
  • Seeking to close the “information gap” between urban and rural, China will launch an effort to open 200,000 libraries in rural parts of the country by 2010.
  • DTN network has purchased The Progressive Farmer from Time Warner Inc, thus expanding their presence in agriculture and rural media.

    Rural Pharmacies in Trouble

    Monday, January 1st, 2007

    An important story from The Rural Blog.

    Medicare drug program is Wal-Marting rural pharmacies, CBS says

    “What Wal-Mart once did to rural downtowns, Medicare is doing to the rural drug store.” That was how CBS correspondent Wyatt Andrews summed up his report last night on how the new Medicare Part D program for prescription drugs is hurting the small, independent pharmacies prevalent in rural areas — a story to which The Rural Blog has been calling attention for months.

    “My life’s earnings have gone right out the window,” said Columbus, Miss., pharmacist Don Walden, the focus of Andrews’ report. “Walden says the problem is that seniors get Medicare coverage through private insurance companies, which in turn, have lowered the fees and reimbursements they pay him.” (Photo of Walden in his Medical Arts Pharmacy from CBSNews.com.)

    Walden is resisting chain pharmacies’ offers to buy his store, but Andrews lists several that have gone out of business: “Gone this year is the old Taylor Drug Store in tiny Granville, Ohio. There is no more Centennial Merit Drugs in Monte Vista, Colo. When Randy Spainhour closed down Penslow’s pharmacy in Holly Ridge, N.C., he mailed his license back blaming, the ‘low reimbursement of Medicare’.”

    The Rural Blog reported Aug. 24 that a survey of more than 500 community pharmacists revealed that nearly nine out of 10 (89 percent) are getting less money and a third are considering shutting down since Part D started last Jan. 1. “The survey found that more than half (55 percent) of respondents said they have had to obtain outside loans or financing to supplement their pharmacy’s cash flow because of slow reimbursement by health care plans,” according to the National Community Pharmacists Association.

    A May 8 item in The Rural Blog referenced a study that shows rural residents are paying more for drugs than urbanites under Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The study by the Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis of the Rural Policy Research Institute reported that average monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans vary from $6 in urban New Hampshire to $53 in rural Hawaii. Click here for the archived item and click here for the study.


    Ed. Note:
    I draw a lot of source material from The Rural Blog which is supported by the The Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky. I recommend the site to anyone who likes the material on this site.

    Be a Populist

    Opera Get Firefox!