116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Last March, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced the termination of its uninsured program. This meant an end to COVID-19 testing and treatment reimbursement to doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, nursing homes, and community health centers that provide relief to the uninsured. This was huge blow to 31 million uninsured Americans and the communities in which they live and work.
Community health centers and safety net hospitals do not have a huge budget for free services, and the pandemic has strained their already thin financial margins. The HRSA program was instrumental in their ability to provide necessary COVID-19 testing and relief. Without these funds, many providers in underserved areas have had to make up for losses by making cuts in transportation, translation, enrollment, and health education services.
Iowa’s elected officials deserve a lot of praise for their deft handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and Reps. Ahsley Hinson and Cindy Axne continue to set an example for their colleagues by championing efforts to restore funding for the HRSA uninsured program. Community health should always trump partisanship.