Kuster advocates for legislation to expand health care in rural communities
CONCORD – U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, urged immediate action to expand access to life-saving health care in our rural communities during a hearing entitled, “Investing in Public Health: Legislation to Support Patients, Workers, and Research.” During the hearing, Kuster spoke on behalf of the MOBILE Health Care Act — legislation included in the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force’s 2021 Legislative Agenda — to help health centers provide comprehensive care to medically underserved populations.
“Delivering quality, affordable care to rural communities and vulnerable populations requires a creative and all-hands-on-deck approach,” said Rep. Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force. “Mobile health services have proven to be incredibly successful in New Hampshire, delivering essential care to Granite Staters who would otherwise not have access. I am proud to support the MOBILE Health Care Act to bring this innovative solution to communities across the country to close gaps in access to physical and mental health care and ensure every American has the medical support they need to thrive.”
“We are excited about the opportunities the MOBILE Health Care Act presents for our New Hampshire community health centers. Through it, they will have a greater ability to meet community need and support the most vulnerable among us. We appreciate Congresswoman Kuster’s commitment to expanding and enhancing access for those Granite Staters most in need through the MOBILE Health Care Act,” said Georgia Maheras, Vice President Policy & Strategy, Bi-State Primary Care Association.
“NACHC thanks Representative Ann Kuster for cosponsoring the MOBILE Health Care Act. Nationwide health centers are using mobile clinics to serve patients experiencing homelessness, senior populations, and those living in rural and remote areas,” said Rachel Gonzales-Hanson, Interim President & CEO, National Association of Community Health Centers. “This legislation will allow even more health centers the opportunity to go beyond brick-and-mortar sites and into the communities they serve, meeting the patient where they are located. NACHC urges Congress to join Rep. Kuster in moving the MOBILE Health Care Act forward to passage.”
Specifically, H.R. 5141, the Maximizing Outcomes through Better Investments in Lifesaving Equipment for (MOBILE) Health Care Act will:
Expand and otherwise modify the allowable uses of New Access Point grant funds.
These grants help health centers establish new delivery sites to provide comprehensive primary care to medically underserved populations.
Allow health centers to use funds to construct or renovate buildings or to set up mobile medical clinics.
In addition, a mobile clinic may qualify for grant funding as a new delivery site regardless of whether it is associated with a permanent, full-time site.