Senator Chuck Grassley’s Leadership Helped Safeguard Rural America Clinics
Washington, DC (August 4, 2021) – On behalf of more than five million senior supporters of the 60 Plus Association, the American Association of Senior Citizens, we applaud Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) efforts in securing the passage of the bipartisan Rural Health Clinic Protection Act.
At an event on Capitol Hill where Senator Grassley received the award 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin said, “This fix protects rural health clinics from a reduction in payment from Medicare. There was a technical error that unintentionally failed to grandfather in rural health clinics established during 2020 into a new, comprehensive, payment system.
“Make no mistake, without the passage of this bill several clinics would have closed leaving several rural communities without access to local healthcare and with senior citizens being impacted the most. Many seniors don’t have access to transportation and having to travel to major cities for healthcare is a major hardship, especially those living on fixed incomes.
“Sen. Grassley deserves credit for spearheading this bipartisan effort to make sure that rural America does not get left behind when accessing primary care and preventive health services provided by rural health clinics. More than 4,100 rural health clinics serve our nation’s seniors and the rural health clinics are rewarded with extra payment through Medicare. Several rural health clinics, including seven rural health clinics in Iowa, were at risk for being left behind if a fix was not made. Sen. Grassley’s bill was added to larger legislative package in March 2021 and became law on April 14, 2021.
“Sen. Grassley has scored several victories for rural health care ensuring rural America wasn’t left behind in the nation’s pandemic response. He fought to boost payments for doctors, secure critical funding for rural hospitals and expand coverage for Medicare beneficiaries. This includes mental-health tele-visits, which are helpful during the pandemic and will remain an important option for many Americans afterwards and we are grateful,” Martin concluded.