What They Are Saying: Republican and Democratic Lawmakers Tout Strong Bipartisan Support for Telehealth, Value for Patients and Urgency for Action
U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers Says Protecting Access to Virtual Care “Would Be a Big Win for the American People”
In case you missed it, during an Axios Vitals “Check-Up” virtual event on the future of telehealth policy, U.S. Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5) and Mike Thompson (D-CA-5) highlighted the urgent need for Congress to protect patient access to telehealth and the value virtual care flexibilities bring to their constituents.
During the virtual event, Representative McMorris Rodgers, the Republican leader on the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said that “it would be a big win for the American people for us to come to an agreement on a bridge on telehealth.” She went on to note that for remote parts of eastern Washington, being able to “connect with specialists across the country, for example, to help meet your healthcare needs, that is a huge game-changer.”
“[Telehealth] enjoys broad bipartisan support and people in eastern Washington, the patients that I have talked to, as well as my colleagues across the country, are telling us that patients have been happy with the telehealth they’ve received and that they have appreciated being able to be connected to a doctor,” Representative McMorris Rodgers continued. “Providers have told me that its helpful to be able to see a patient or individual in their home or be able to see what their surroundings are, and to be able to do that virtually makes a lot of sense to me.”
Representative Thompson, chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee, discussed the importance of telehealth for “traditionally underserved areas,” and the existence of a “ton of examples as to how well this is working and how important this is.”
He also touted bipartisan support, saying, “the beauty of telemedicine is it’s bipartisan, and I’ve had strong bipartisan partners on this from the day I first introduced it in Congress. I see this as one of those policy measures that could continue to get good bipartisan support.”
“If you’re in a hospital and that particular hospital doesn’t have the expertise that’s needed, they can wheel in a computer and go online through telemedicine and put you in contact with the expert that’s needed to save your life, to save money. It works on absolutely every level,” Representative Thompson continued. “[Telehealth] is a bipartisan issue and an important issue.”
Telehealth Access for America applauds Representatives McMorris Rodgers and Thompson for their commitment to protecting access to virtual care and encourages Congress to act swiftly to extend critical telehealth flexibilities in end-of-year omnibus legislation.
Read more on a recent letter, co-signed by 34 Members of Congress, adding to the momentum to protect access to telehealth in end-of-year omnibus legislation HERE.
Learn more about Telehealth Access for America (TAFA) and permanent solutions to protect access to telehealth HERE.
ABOUT TELEHEALTH ACCESS FOR AMERICA
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 and take action today at www.telehealthaccessforamerica.org.