WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — Rural hospitals in Texas, and across the nation, have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic – and they are quickly running out of money and resources.
Lawmakers tried to ease the pain during the last coronavirus funding package, but some say it’s not nearly enough.
Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar says Congress approved billions of dollars in the latest CARES Act to help rural hospitals from running out of what they need to keep functioning.
But Texas Republican Roger Williams says the rural hospitals haven’t seen a dime.
In a letter on Friday, Williams asked Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to activate the funds immediately, saying, “the entire healthcare system is strained to the breaking point… rural America is under enormous pressure.”
The CARES Act includes $75 billion for hospitals across the country and the Trump administration says $10 billion will go specifically to rural healthcare providers.
Texas Democrat Lloyd Doggett says rural hospitals can’t wait any longer.
“So many of our hospitals that were under great threat before this pandemic ever happened, now they have declining revenues and increased needs,” Doggett said.
Secretary Azar says the money will be distributed in waves. Last week, he said the approximately 2,000 rural hospitals across the country will be included in the second round of funding.