Fighting for the Healthcare Access Rural Wisconsin Deserves

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Fighting for the Healthcare Access Rural Wisconsin Deserves

May 19, 2024 - 17:47
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Rural Wisconsinites should not be pushed to the sidelines ever, but especially when it comes to medical care. Folks are still struggling to find accessible healthcare following the HSHS and Prevea Health closures in western Wisconsin, and I want to make sure we are doing all we can to get the people of the Third District the resources they deserve.

To ensure that the accessible medical care blackout continues to be addressed and doesn’t fall through the cracks, I hosted a healthcare roundtable in Eau Claire with local and state elected officials, representatives from Oakleaf, Mayo Clinic, and Marshfield, and Third District healthcare stakeholders. During the roundtable, we discussed our continued efforts to mitigate the impacts of the recent hospital closures in the district.

I also announced the introduction of my most recent piece of legislation, the Rural Healthcare Revitalization Act of 2024. This bill will permit states to request, and if approved, receive waivers to bypass restrictions on establishing a new medical facility in the event of a small hospital closure in the region.

Throughout my time in Congress, I have been working to improve healthcare access, particularly for rural America:

  • Co-introduced H.R. 8154, which will permanently extend telehealth services for Federally Qualified Health Centers and Rural Health Clinics.
  • Sent a letter to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers following the HSHS and Prevea Health hospital closure announcements urging him to utilize state and federal resources to provide medical care alternatives in rural Wisconsin.
  • Sent a letter to the Wisconsin State Legislature urging support for legislation that would repurpose $15 million for healthcare needs in the Chippewa Valley.
  • Requested Community Project Funding (CPF) on behalf of Chippewa County to establish a new mortuary following the closure of the facility at HSHS.

Not having accessible healthcare options cannot become the new normal for rural Wisconsinites. I will continue working at the federal level and with representatives at the local level to find real solutions to these hospital closures and improve rural medical care for years to come.

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