September 10, 2021

Wyden and Merkley Cheer Federal Dollars to Help Health Providers Through COVID Surge

Doctors and Hospitals in Oregon Eligible to Apply for Provider Relief Funds, Including $8.5 Billion Set Aside for Rural Providers

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley today cheered an announcement by the Biden Administration that $25.5 billion from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) would be distributed to health care providers in Oregon and across the nation amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“The delta variant has put Oregon health providers under enormous strain as frontline health care workers approach their breaking point,” said Wyden, who in recent weeks has heard firsthand from nurses, doctors and medical staff at meetings in Bend, Eugene, Medford and Portland about the crushing workload created by the public health crisis. “These dollars will provide critical relief to help keep patients and workers safe while the campaign to vaccinate all Americans continues. I’m also pleased that this distribution will especially help providers that serve seniors and Oregon’s most vulnerable families.”

“As the Delta variant continues to surge, it’s clear that there’s still much more work to be done to keep families across Oregon and around the country safe from this pandemic—and we can’t do that without getting more shots into arms and supporting the health care heroes on the frontlines,” said Merkley. “I applaud the Biden administration for making more resources available to support those efforts, and will continue to do all that I can to help our communities navigate this crisis, by ensuring that all of our health care providers have the tools they need to keep saving lives.”

Last month, Wyden and Merkley called for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to distribute funds remaining in the PRF and other health care programs.