Both senators have urged FCC to modernize, increase funding for this program, which hasn’t seen funding increase in more than 20 years.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) applauded a draft proposal from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai that would significantly increase funding for the Universal Service Fund’s Rural Health Care (RHC) Program.
“Rural healthcare providers across Maine rely on telemedicine to ensure their patients can receive critical care in a timely manner,” said Senators Collins and King. “But with demand for RHC funding continuing to rise, any further inaction would risk leaving rural healthcare practitioners without lifesaving telemedicine services. This long-overdue funding increase would be a boon to both healthcare providers and patients in rural communities across our country.”
In recent years, Senators Collins and King have repeatedly pushed the FCC to support the RHC Program, which helps deliver vital health care services and telemedicine to people who live in rural areas by providing funding for broadband. Last month, Senators Collins and King joined a group of their colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter urging Chairman Pai to increase the funding cap for the program, and in February of last year Senator King led a bipartisan group of his colleagues, including Senator Collins, in a letter urging the FCC to avoid cuts or spending reductions to the program.