The U.S. House of Representative’s version of the Rural Health Connectivity Act, H.R. 4111, could save $19 million over the next 10 years, according to a Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate report.
H.R. 4111 would make certain skilled nursing facilities eligible for grants under the government’s Universal Service Fund’s Rural Health Care program. The USF’s RHC program provides funding for telecommunications and broadband services used to promote health care in rural communities. If passed, the bill could help provide better care in rural areas by enabling health IT tools like telemedicine, according to legislators.
The CBO report states, “CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 4111 would increase direct spending by $193 million and revenues by $212 million over the 2017-2026 period, resulting in an estimated net reduction in the deficit of $19 million. CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have no significant discretionary costs. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting the legislation would affect direct spending and revenues.”
H.R. 41111 has cleared the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee. The bill’s Senate companion is S. 1916.