Becerra to Congress: “The Last Thing We Need To Do Is Allow [Telehealth Flexibilities] To Expire.”

Mar 21, 2024

TAFA Applauds Bipartisan Support for Permanent Telehealth Protections, Reiterates Need for Congressional Action

Washington, D.C – Telehealth Access for America issued the following statement in response to remarks during yesterday’s U.S. House Ways and Means Committee hearing from Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and a bipartisan chorus of lawmakers.

“We applaud Secretary Becerra, the administration, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for their continued commitment to working together to enact bipartisan legislation that safeguards and expands access to virtual care,” said TAFA spokesperson Julia Mirich. “We look forward to the administration and Congress putting these words into action by enacting permanent telehealth flexibilities before the expiration at the end of this year, and we encourage them to do so without unnecessary restrictions and guardrails.”

“As Secretary Becerra said, ‘the last thing we need to do is allow [telehealth flexibilities] to expire.’ TAFA agrees, and millions of patients nationwide are counting on Congress to ensure they can continue to access the virtual care they rely on,” concluded Mirich. 

Read what lawmakers and Secretary Becerra had to say here:

HHS Secretary Becerra: “I don’t think there’s any doubt that we need to maintain these telehealth flexibilities, in fact, even more so on the behavioral health side. When we hit the pandemic and we started doing telehealth a lot of folks thought it wouldn’t work on the mental health side but it’s actually one of the areas where we had the greatest success. And so the last thing we need to do is allow them to expire, we’re prepared to work with you to make sure that you all are able to, on a bipartisan basis, reach some agreement on how to extend those flexibilities.”

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16): “The whole thing on telehealth. I’m in a senior, very senior area, fifth oldest district. It’s really critical to them, there’s some discussion, obviously the extenders expire at the end of the year … I think it’s the future, you know for, a lot of these seniors are 80, I see it 85, a lot of them in pretty good health, but they might have to drive an hour or two hours a day to get where they’ve got to go and this would be a lot better for them.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA-02): “I’d also like to ask about telehealth and telemedicine, as you know Mr. Secretary I’ve been working on this issue for a long time, since even before we were colleagues on this committee, and I wrote along with Mr. Schweikert the legislation that made telehealth available to seniors on Medicare during the pandemic that you referenced earlier in your testimony. That access provided invaluable and it was the telehealth flexibilities that we put in place are set to expire at the end of this year… telemedicine is a way that we can really expand our reach so thank you for your help and I look forward to working with you [Secretary Becerra].”


Telehealth Access for America (TAFA) is a public education campaign supported by leaders in health care committed to better care, expanded patient choice, and protecting access to critical telehealth services. Learn more at