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Associated Press, Published January 10 2010

Frontier states provision riding on North Dakota officials

North Dakota’s congressional delegation says a provision in the health care reform bill that boosts Medicare reimbursement rates for some rural states is a tough sell.

The so-called frontier states amendment would increase Medicare reimbursement rates for some doctors and hospitals in North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Montana and Wyoming. The idea faces opposition from some Republican senators in those states, as well as lawmakers in more populous states.

North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad said he found out in a committee last week that larger states are working together to defeat the amendment. He said he has been criticized for being zealous for his state but says it’s a health care reform issue and not a political one.

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