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Help Protect Dubuque’s Metropolitan Status

The Office of Management and Budget recently released a proposed rule which would eliminate 37% of Metropolitan Statistical Areas across the country, including Dubuque. It would replace them with a designation of “Micropolitan Statistical Area” essentially designating Dubuque and the surrounding area as a rural community. If this rule were to go into effect, companies looking for a new location for their business or a place to expand would never see Dubuque. For site selectors, the first item on their list is an analysis of which MSA’s might be a good fit for their business. If Dubuque is downgraded, we will never be on that list.

Luckily, this designation has not been finalized. We need your help in stopping this harmful policy from going into effect. Please consider writing your own comment, focusing on the points below.

Talking points to focus on:

  1. As the nation comes out of a pandemic and economic crisis, the last thing we need to do is downgrade a third of the country’s population centers.
  2. The committee’s reasoning is flawed. MSA’s are meant to designate which communities are metropolitan, not which communities have grown at the same rate as the country.
  3. There are outstanding questions including whether this rule will negatively impact Medicare reimbursement rates for affected communities; whether this will impact the federal budget by expanding program eligibility; whether the committees reasoning for the change is justified; and how will this impact ongoing longitudinal studies that utilize the MSA designation in their data sets.

Send comments to Regulations.gov/commenton/OMB-2021-0001-0001.

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