By Greg Pence Press Office—
Columbus, IN – Congressman Greg Pence (IN-06) has introduced H.R. 5506, the Rural Telehealth Access Task Force Act with Congresswoman Angie Craig (MN-02) seeking to expand rural communities’ access to telehealth capabilities.
The proposed legislation seeks to establish a Rural Telehealth Access Task Force between the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), United States Department if Agriculture (USDA), Department of Health and Human Service (HHS), National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
If enacted by law, the task force would be commissioned with identifying barriers to the adoption of telehealth technologies in rural America, sharing information on the deployment of broadband funding through federal programs to expand access to broadband, and provide findings and recommendations to Congress.
“One of my greatest priorities in Congress has been fighting to close the digital divide many rural communities in my district are facing, and working to ensure Hoosiers have reliable, modernized broadband capabilities to connect with the services they need,” said Congressman Pence. “Telehealth accessibility is an issue we can all agree should demand more federal attention, and I look forward to this legislation delivering on my promise to make our Hoosier way of life more secure for so many at home in Indiana.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has opened many Americans’ eyes to the benefits of widespread access to telehealth services. From routine procedures to annual check-ups and everything in between – Americans have shifted a huge portion of their medical services online over the past year,” said Representative Angie Craig. “However, especially in rural communities who face difficulties accessing affordable, reliable broadband internet, this transition has been slow and onerous. I’m proud to join Representative Pence in introducing this important legislation, which I hope will allow rural communities in Minnesota to better access these critical services in the years to come.”
Congressman Greg Pence represents Indiana’s 6th District. From Columbus, Indiana, Pence advocates for conservative Hoosier values as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.