U.S. Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee reportedly wants reforms that would expand people’s access to telehealth and thus protect them from the coronavirus.
This, according to Breitbart.com, which said Blackburn is “one of the leaders in Congress advocating for increased access to telemedicine.”
The website also said telemedicine would help rural Americans.
“The Tennessee senator has pushed for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue waivers that would expand the use of telemedicine for Medicaid and Medicare,” the website reported.
Breitbart, quoting CMS administrator Seema Verma, a member of Trump’s coronavirus response team, said “these changes allow seniors to communicate with their doctors without having to travel to a healthcare facility so that they can limit risk of exposure and spread of this virus. Clinicians on the frontlines will now have greater flexibility to safely treat our beneficiaries.”
The telehealth expansion, the website went on to report, “decreases the need for vulnerable populations — such as older Americans and those with preexisting conditions — to come into doctors’ offices and hospitals. The reform also would allow for crowded hospitals and emergency rooms to better handle the coronavirus outbreak.”
Telemedicine is already changing the way we interact with our doctors, but current regulations prevent doctors from using it in many cases. @realdonaldtrump made it easier for Medicare patients to access these services, but insurance companies & Medicaid need to get on board NOW. pic.twitter.com/1WiQwCYmuE
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) March 19, 2020
This is not the only initiative Blackburn is working on.
As reported last week, Marsha Blackburn and U.S. Democratic Sen. Bob Menéndez of New Jersey introduced the Securing America’s Medicine Cabinet Act, which they said will increase American manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients.
The two senators, in a press release, said these APIs are “the building blocks of prescription drugs.”
Currently, only 28 percent of API-producing facilities are in the United States. The number of Chinese facilities has more than doubled since 2010, the two senators said in their press release.
“When confronted with a serious challenge such as the coronavirus, it is important to take stock, look at lessons learned and build upon them in order to respond better the next time,” Blackburn said.
“Currently, we are too reliant on foreign manufacturing of critical APIs. The SAM-C Act is one step on the right path to strengthen our drug supply chain.”
– – –