A forum on rural healthcare is scheduled for tonight in Sioux City. Steph Larson, rural policy organizer with the sponsoring Center for Rural Affairs, says this is the fifth in a series of meetings they’ve held in Iowa on the subject.

"Rural people really understand what is going on in their communities and everybody’s got a story about health care," Larson says. "There’s very specific issues that we are finding are really resonating with rural people. Work force is a big one. There aren’t enough doctors, nurses, health practitioners, mental health facilities in rural areas. That is one of the things that people continually say."

Larson says there is a movement toward health care reform among our national leaders. "Health care is absolutely on the table," she says. "I think that health care reform is going to happen within the next year. This is an opportunity that rural communities and rural people can’t pass up. It’s absolutely the top priority for this administration and for members of Congress as well."

Larson says their plan is to continue to put pressure on lawmakers at all levels, but focusing on the grassroots. They’re pulling out major themes from the hearings to pass along to members of the state legislature so they’re aware of people’s concerns.

The forum will be held at Western Iowa Tech in Sioux City from six to eight P.M.