Sinema, Group of 45 Lawmakers From Both Parties Call For Extension of Pandemic Telehealth Services

Jan 31, 2022

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema and a group of 45 lawmakers from both parties in the U.S Senate and House called for the extension of expanded coverage of pandemic telehealth services. 
While Sinema worked to include provisions of the CONNECT for Health Act—legislation she cosponsored—in past COVID-19 response legislation, allowing Arizona seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries increased access to telehealth services, these provisions will expire following the pandemic unless permanently expanded.
“Permanently expanding telehealth services expands access to affordable care for Arizona seniors and reduces federal spending as we recover from the pandemic and resulting economic downturn,” said Sinema.
Sinema cospsonored the CONNECT for Health Act—bipartisan legislation removing barriers to telehealth coverage by cutting red tape and removing geographic restrictions, while increasing program oversight and integrity, and providing permanent access to health care services after the pandemic. Sinema successfully helped include language from the CONNECT for Health Act in the CARES Act that increased availability of telehealth services for Medicare beneficiaries and allowed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to approve telehealth programs more quickly. Sinema’s bipartisan letter urges Senate leaders to make temporary telehealth provisions from this legislation permanent.
In addition to Senator Sinema, the bipartisan letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Angus King (I-Maine), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and U.S. Representatives Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), James Langevin (D-R.I.), Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), and Michael Guest (R-Miss.).
Click HERE for the Senators’ letter.