Barrasso, Smith Bill to Improve Rural Health Care Passes Senate
Written by Caleb Nelson on December 21, 2022
U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Co-Chairs of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, passed a bipartisan bill to improve rural health care in the Senate with “unanimous consent,” a recent press release states.
The State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) Reauthorization Act of 2022 will reauthorize a key support for health facilities in rural areas across the country. This bill ensures that State Offices of Rural Health have the financial resources needed to improve information-sharing, technical assistance, and care delivery in rural settings.
Under the bill, the program will be reauthorized for five years, which will preserve the program’s flexibility to meet the needs of providers and patients across the country, officials claim. The legislation is now set to go before the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.
“With Senate passage, we’re one step closer to ensuring Wyoming’s Office of Rural Health has the critical resources needed to give our patients the quality of care they deserve,” Barrasso says. “As I doctor, I’ve seen firsthand how this program benefits our state’s rural health clinics and hospitals. I urge the House to take up our bill and pass it as soon as possible.”
“When I meet with families, farmers, businesses and community leaders in greater Minnesota, one of the first issues that comes up is health care,” Senator Smith states. “This bipartisan legislation will help make sure State Offices of Rural Health have the resources they need to expand and improve health care services in rural communities. I’m proud of our work to pass this bill and help address the unique health care needs of rural America.”
This legislation, specifically, increases the dollar figure for 2023-2027 from the previous ‘‘$12,500,000″ to “‘$15,000,000″ for each of fiscal year.
Cosponsors of this legislation include U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.).