Hospitals Will Receive $10B through O’Halleran Infrastructure Legislation
WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) helped to introduce the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s new infrastructure package, the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s (LIFT) America Act, comprehensive legislation that will help rebuild American infrastructure through significant investments in combating climate change, expanding broadband access, and protecting public health and the environment. One piece of this legislation that O’Halleran is leading is a provision that will invest $10 billion over five years (a rate of $2 billion annually) in a new program that modernizes and revitalizes American hospitals that serve our communities most in need.
“Throughout the pandemic, Arizona has seen some of the highest per-capita COVID-19 rates in the country. This has put a strain on our entire health care system and, in particular, on the eight critical access hospitals in the First District, and other facilities, like Northern Arizona Healthcare, that are providing significant support to Arizonans in rural and underserved areas," said O’Halleran. “In introducing this targeted hospital funding piece to our LIFT America Act, I’m seeking to bring attention, funding, and opportunity to these underserved areas that need it most, helping to provide quality, affordable care for rural families.”
The funds allocated under O’Halleran’s portion of the bill are intended to fund public health emergency preparedness projects, like the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and cybersecurity improvements to protect against cyber threats. The legislation states specific focus on “communities in need” allocating significant, targeted hospital infrastructure support to hospitals serving rural and underserved areas.
Public and nonprofit facilities received financial assistance under Titles VI and XVI of the Public Health Service Act, commonly known as the Hill-Burton Act. The Hill-Burton Program was established and utilized from its passage into law in 1946 through the 1980s to expand and build the country’s hospital infrastructure. Many hospitals, particularly those in rural and underserved areas, receive these funds in exchange for providing uncompensated care for patients.