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USDA Investing in Rural Healthcare


In a March 23rd release, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced investment of $266 million to upgrade health resources in rural areas of 16 states and Puerto Rico.  Funds will support improvements in facilities and emergency response services.  Justin Maxson the Undersecretary of Agriculture for Rural Development stated, “the Biden-Harris Administration has made beating the COVID-19 pandemic and restoring the economy a top priority and USDA is playing a critical role.”  He added, “the investments announced today will spur community development and build sound infrastructure like hospitals and medical facilities to help rural America build back better and stronger.” 


Facilities in rural areas will apply funds to renovate and expand clinics and install outreach, medical and dental services.  Applications were received from municipalities, non-profit organizations, Native American tribes and rural counties with populations less than 20,000.


Given the scope and purpose of the funding it is questioned whether the USDA should be the responsible Federal Department or alternatively should the program be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services.