Maine’s independent Sen. Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats, says he’s getting behind three Republican-backed pieces of legislation that he thinks would assist rural health care in the state.

He says his decision comes after a year of reaching out to hospital administrators and health professionals in rural Maine to talk about subjects like lowering the costs of health coverage.

One of the proposals was introduced by Maine Sen. Susan Collins. It would extend the rural add-on payment for home health services until 2022.

The other two proposals are from Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa. One would allow rural hospitals to close some inpatient beds and services while keeping outpatient and emergency services. The other would increase payments through the Medicare Low-Volume Hospital program.

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