Rural healthcare in UP / N. Michigan should've been a major Congressional priority

Dr. Bob Lorinser, candidate for US Congress in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, has been a physician in the rural UP for over 30 years.

Dr. Lorinser practiced medicine in rural areas — Iron River, Crystal Falls, and KI Sawyer, and says the current Congressman isn't doing enough to advocate for accessible healthcare for Michigan's most vulnerable patients.

Imagine having a medical emergency when the closest ER is over 60 minutes away, the ambulance service is short-staffed, and response time is delayed.


Imagine having a sick child, but there are no physicians or hospital beds within an hour's drive of your community.


What if there aren't enough nurses and other professionals to take care of you?


Dr. Bob Lorinser says this is the reality facing too many citizens in the 1st District, and it's high time someone does something about it.


"Unlike my opponent, I am willing to address these problems by working with local, state, and federal resources to implement final solutions," said Dr. Lorinser. "We have very successful models, but they need to be a funding priority. Jack Bergman's goal is to privatize healthcare completely, at the dire expense of rural care accessibility."


Nineteen Michigan rural hospitals are at risk of closing because of financial losses and a lack of financial reserves. It could reduce the amount of rural care by over 30%.


Yet, in 2021, Bergman voted against $4.9 million in federal funding to Bay Mills Indian Community and Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center (UGL).


The health centers successfully used the funds for staffing, personal protective equipment, screening, testing, and other battles against the pandemic. Bergman opposed $770,000 from the American Rescue Plan granted to UGL to fund a major renovation of the Sawyer Family Health Center.


Saving Rural Hospitals


Millions of Americans live in rural communities that don't have essential healthcare services, such as hospitals, emergency rooms, or primary care clinics. They face long delays in getting care if they're in an accident or have symptoms of a heart attack, stroke, or an infectious disease such as COVID-19. Even if they have insurance to pay for health care services, there is nowhere they can use it in their community.


Nearly 90% of RN respondents consider leaving an already critically short-staffed nursing profession within one year if staffing issues, poor environments, and patient flow challenges go unaddressed.


"These are the issues I will work on," said Dr. Lorinser. "I am passionate about this, education, childcare, affordable housing, livable wages, infrastructure, and the future solvency of social security and Medicare. Let's work together to problem solve and unelect politicians who make problems worse."