U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Bipartisan Bill to Improve Rural Health Care Passes Senate

WASHINGTON [12/21/22] – U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Co-Chairs of the Senate Rural Health Causes, announced that their bipartisan bill to improve rural health care passed the Senate by unanimous consent. The State Offices of Rural Health (SORH) Reauthorization Act of 2022 will reauthorize a key program that supports health facilities in rural areas across the country. The legislation now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.

“When I meet with families, farmers, businesses and community leaders in greater Minnesota, one of the first issues that comes up is health care,” said Smith. “This bipartisan legislation will help make sure State Offices of Rural Health have the resources they need to expand and improve health care services in rural communities. I’m proud of our work to pass this bill and help address the unique health care needs of rural America.”

“With Senate passage, we’re one step closer to ensuring Wyoming’s Office of Rural Health has the critical resources needed to give our patients the quality of care they deserve,” said Barrasso. “As I doctor, I’ve seen firsthand how this program benefits our state’s rural health clinics and hospitals. I urge the House to take up our bill and pass it as soon as possible.”

This bill supports State Offices of Rural Health by extending a successful law on information-sharing, technical assistance, and care delivery in rural settings. Under the bill, the program will be reauthorized for five years, which will preserve the program’s flexibility to meet the needs of providers and patients across the country.

Cosponsors of this legislation include U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). This legislation is supported by the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health, the National Rural Health Association, and the Minnesota Department of Health.

The full text of the legislation can be found here.