June 25, 2018

Wyden Praises Increased Funds for Rural Health Care Program

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said today’s announcement of increased federal funding for the Rural Health Care Program will help to meet the growing demand for telehealth services in rural parts of Oregon and nationwide.

Wyden said he’s heard firsthand in town halls and meetings with medical providers throughout Oregon how badly needed today’s FCC action to lift the decades-old $400 million cap is to improving telecommunications and broadband services for rural health care providers. The budget cap will now increase to $571 million.

“For once in what seems like a very long time, common sense has prevailed in Washington, DC: the FCC agreed with my request to increase resources for the Rural Health Care Program – a vitally important program to Oregon that is underfunded nationally,” said Wyden, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee overseeing health care.

“The message was clear at my meetings in recent weeks from the Winding Waters clinic in Joseph to a roundtable at St. Charles Hospital in Bend with rural healthcare providers: dependable broadband is a must so medical information like imaging, X-rays and more can be shared by providers,” Wyden said. “Today’s news is a big win for good healthcare that is essential to quality of life in rural Oregon.”