Washington, DC —Today, Rep. Ron Kind announced that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will provide grants to Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) for COVID-19 testing. This funding is provided through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which Rep. Kind voted for on April 23, 2020. These investments will help RHCs across Wisconsin support COVID-19 testing efforts and expand access to testing in rural communities.
“I’m glad to see federal funding secured through the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act used to support our Rural Health Clinics,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “Our rural health care providers are working tirelessly to keep our communities safe and healthy. As COVID-19 cases continue to climb in Wisconsin, it’s critical that we ensure our Rural Health Clinics on the front lines of this pandemic have the funding and support they need to continue to their life-saving work.”
Rural communities have been particularly hard hit by the latest surge in the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the rate of COVID-19 transmission is higher in rural communities than many other parts of the country. In Wisconsin, COVID-19 cases are continuing to spike, putting additional pressure on rural health care providers and underscoring their need for assistance. Many rural health care providers faced serious financial challenges prior to the pandemic. In 2019, 19 rural hospitals closed across the U.S. and 1 in 5 rural hospitals are at risk of closure. That’s why in July, Rep. Kind joined 48 of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in urging HHS to provide immediate relief to rural health care providers affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Rep. Kind is the co-chair of the House Rural Health Care Coalition and serves on the Subcommittee on Health for the Ways and Means Committee, the most powerful – and the oldest – committee in the House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction over tax measures, the management of public debt, trade and tariff laws, Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and many other economic growth measures.