Biden Administration Announces Boost for Rural Health Care in Midterm Election Push

by | Apr 13, 2022 | Health

As the midterm election season ramps up, the Biden administration wants rural Americans to know it’ll be spending a lot of money to improve health care in rural areas.

It has tasked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack with delivering the message that the covid-19 pandemic exposed long-standing problems with health care infrastructure in remote parts of the country and pushed many rural health providers to the brink.

Vilsack spoke to KHN ahead of an announcement Wednesday that the Agriculture Department has awarded $43 million in grants to 93 rural health care providers and community groups in 22 states. Biden administration Cabinet members are fanning out across the country to promote the benefits of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act and a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package to rural Americans.

“The health care industry, particularly in rural places, was stressed by virtue of either not having adequate resources to deal with the virus or having a circumstance where they just didn’t have the capacity in terms of personnel or equipment or materials,” Vilsack said.

Vilsack, who recently tested positive for covid, didn’t travel to Pennsylvania for Wednesday’s announcement. He said his symptoms are mild and he’s continuing to work.

The Biden administration’s push into the American heartland comes as midterm election campaign season gets underway. Leading Democrats have said their party can’t afford to lose more votes from the nation’s core, particularly if they want to maintain control of …

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