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Rep. Kind’s Legislation to Protect Rural Communities’ Access to Care Passes the House

March 19, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC— Today, Rep. Ron Kind’s Rural and Underserved Small Hospital (RUSH) Protection Act passed through the House with bipartisan support. This legislation will update the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act to help ensure Rural Health Clinics across the state have the resources they need to provide access to care for patients in rural and underserved communities.

“I'm thrilled that the RUSH Protection Act is one step closer to becoming law and ensuring our rural health clinics don’t experience unexpected financial penalties,” said Rep. Ron Kind. "We have some of the best rural health care providers in the nation. I'm proud to work on their behalf to support rural health clinics and help protect access to care for rural communities across Wisconsin. Now, I urge the Senate to act quickly to pass this critical legislation." 

“I am grateful for Rep. Kind’s leadership in getting the RUSH Protection Act passed by the House of Representatives today. His bill will make sure that current Rural Health Clinics across Wisconsin and the state can continue to serve patients and the communities that rely on them,” said Dr. Susan Turney, CEO of Marshfield Clinic Health System.   

Rural health clinics (RCHs) play a vital role in providing access to care for rural communities across Wisconsin and have been on the frontlines of combatting COVID-19 in our rural regions. Unfortunately, due to a drafting error in the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act, many RHCs affiliated with critical access hospitals that opened in 2020 are facing significant Medicare payment cuts. The RUSH Protection Act will correct this mistake and help ensure RHCs can continue their critical work of providing care for patients in our rural communities.

Rep. Kind is the co-chair of the House Rural Health Care Coalition and serves on the Subcommittee on Health for the Ways and Means Committee, the most powerful – and the oldest – committee in the House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction over tax measures, the management of public debt, trade and tariff laws, Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and many other economic growth measures.