Half The Senate Supports Bipartisan CONNECT For Health Act, Underscoring The Priority To Make Telehealth Permanent For Medicare Beneficiaries
WASHINGTON, DC, APRIL 29, 2021 — In yet another strong signal to Congress that Medicare beneficiaries must not lose access to needed telehealth services following the public health emergency, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John Thune (R-SD), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) led a bipartisan group of fifty Senators to reintroduce the CONNECT for Health Act. The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) remains grateful to these telehealth champions for their long-standing commitment to ensuring patients have access to safe, affordable, and effective care when and where they need it, including rural and underserved communities.
“We are indebted to these Congressional leaders, including Sen. Schatz, Sen. Wicker, and the co-sponsors of this bill, who have long supported telehealth and continue to persevere in their efforts to make access to telehealth a permanent part of care delivery in our country,” said Ann Mond Johnson, CEO, the ATA. “We have an unprecedented opportunity to modernize our healthcare system, solve for unacceptable disparities in care, and enable our healthcare providers to do more good for more people.
“The telehealth cliff is looming, casting much uncertainty and concern for the health and safety of Medicare beneficiaries, and the sustainability of our already overburdened healthcare system. By ensuring Medicare beneficiaries do not lose access to telehealth after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends, the CONNECT ACT would protect seniors from the telehealth cliff. We urge Congress to recognize telehealth as a bipartisan, commonsense solution and speedily advance comprehensive policy that will allow permanent access to telehealth and virtual care,” added Mond Johnson.
In addition to Senators Schatz, Wicker, Cardin, Thune, Warner, and Hyde-Smith, the CONNECT for Health Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Angus King (I-Maine), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Chris Coons (D-Del.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).
About the ATA
As the only organization completely focused on advancing telehealth, the American Telemedicine Association is committed to ensuring that everyone has access to safe, affordable, and appropriate care when and where they need it, enabling the system to do more good for more people. The ATA represents a broad and inclusive member network of leading health care delivery systems, academic institutions, technology solution providers and payers, as well as partner organizations and alliances, working to advance industry adoption of telehealth, promote responsible policy, advocate for government and market normalization, and provide education and resources to help integrate virtual care into emerging value-based delivery models. @americantelemed #telehealthishealth #ATApolicy
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Click here to view the press release issued by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii.