What They Are Saying: U.S. House Hearing Showcases Strong Bipartisan Support for Telehealth
Lawmakers Highlight Growing Momentum for Solutions to Protect Virtual Care on Both Sides of the Aisle
Yesterday, during a U.S. House Committee on Rules meeting on the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID–19 Act of 2022 (H.R. 4040), which would extend critical telehealth flexibilities for two years, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle highlighted the benefits of expanded telehealth access and need to permanently protect patient access to virtual care.
Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX-26): “This is what patients need, they’ve told us and physicians have told us…When [telehealth coverage goes] away, or if it will go away, there would be a significant increased cost to patients and that’s got to be reflected somewhere. It’s one of those things you pick up on right away, patients are never shy about telling you that ‘Hey wait, this is great, do you mean I can get this solved over the telephone or computer visit and I don’t have to hire a babysitter, don’t have to miss work, I don’t have to pay your exorbitant parking in your parking garage?’ I mean there is a lot of potential savings downstream of us fixing this problem permanently.”
Representative Jim McGovern (D-MA-02), Chairman, U.S. House Committee on Rules: “I’ve talked to doctors and patients alike about the flexibilities that have been put into place during the pandemic and they all believe that this should continue.”
Representative Tom Cole (R-OK-04), Ranking Member, U.S. House Committee on Rules: “This will allow more Medicare practitioner recipients to utilize telehealth services, which is invaluable in rural districts like the one I represent … I know continuing what we do have, as you both agree, is pretty essential right now so I appreciate the bipartisan cooperation on that and on the legislation before us and hopefully soon there will be additional legislation in this area.”
Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11): “Telehealth is just remarkable, and my providers, as Dr. Burgess said, my doctors have all asked me frequently, ‘How do we do more of this?’”
Representative Michelle Fischbach (R-MN-07): “Many of my constituents have benefitted from telehealth, and I think the agreement here is that we all support it and would like to see it being used wisely, particularly in rural areas.”
Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA-05): “As several people have said, my constituents have really benefitted from the expanded access to telehealth throughout the pandemic, for many of the reasons that Chairman McGovern said, difficulty with transportation, especially seniors, so we do look forward to being able to extend these services.”
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.