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Manchin Applauds HRSA Proposed Rule to Better Classify Rural Appalachia for Federal Resources

April 26, 2024

Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) applauded the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) proposed rule to update its rural definition to better capture the mountainous and rugged terrain of Appalachia, which will ensure that West Virginia communities receive the federal funding they deserve. This proposed rule is a direct result of Senator Manchin’s continued efforts, specifically the language he secured in the Fiscal Year 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding bill directing the use of the new definition.

“West Virginia is the only state that lies completely within the Appalachian Mountain region,” Senator Manchin said. “Much of our state, and Appalachia as a whole, continues to be miscategorized as ‘urban,’ which prevents critical federal resources from reaching many of our communities. I applaud HRSA for taking this first step towards accurately classifying rurality in America and I will continue doing everything I can to ensure its swift implementation.”

Senator Manchin’s recent efforts to improve federal classifications for rural Appalachia:

  • On April 16, 2024, Senator Manchin questioned Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on better classifying rural Appalachia for federal healthcare resources.
  • On March 23, 2024, Senator Manchin secured a number of West Virginia priorities in a bipartisan appropriations package, including language requiring the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy to implement a new rural definition that would better capture the mountainous and rugged terrain of Appalachia.
  • On March 12, 2024, Senator Manchin sent a letter to Peggy Carr, Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), urging her to consider ruggedness scales in NCES’s measurements to ensure areas like Appalachia are not left behind.
  • On March 29, 2023, Senator Manchin questioned USDA leadership on accurately classifying rural America to include mountainous regions and ensuring proportionate federal funding levels for rural areas.

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Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/706909487/manchin-applauds-hrsa-proposed-rule-to-better-classify-rural-appalachia-for-federal-resources

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