November 21, 2019
Secretary Azar Hosts Bipartisan Rural Health Roundtable with Members of Congress
Today, on the occasion of National Rural Health Day, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar hosted a bipartisan meeting with Members of Congress on rural health.
Secretary Azar and the Members had a productive conversation on how to address the challenges facing Americans living in rural settings. They discussed the work already being done by the Department to address rural health challenges, including revisions to the Medicare Wage Index, reduction of regulatory burdens, addressing maternal mortality and morbidity and the opioid crisis, and lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
Secretary Azar mentioned several particular areas where HHS believes it can improve health for rural Americans, including a focus on preventing disease, creating sustainable models for financing, using technology and innovation to improve patient access, and building the next generation of rural health providers.
They also discussed the importance of continued congressional engagement on this topic and the importance of lowering prescription drug costs. Secretary Azar expressed his thanks to the Members for their leadership in improving health outcomes for Americans in rural settings.
Secretary Azar said, “I am grateful to the Members of Congress who joined me today for their leadership on rural health, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with them to deliver a healthcare system that delivers for all Americans the affordability they need, the options and control they want, and the quality they deserve.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Jim Parker, Senior Advisor
Thomas J. Engels, Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration
RADM Michael D. Weahkee, Principal Deputy Director, Indian Health Service
Members of Congress:
Senator John Barrasso (R-WY)
Senator John Hoeven (R-ND)
Senator Doug Jones (D-AL)
Congressman Jodey Arrington (R-TX)
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL)