Daines Introduces Bill to Protect Rural Montanans’ Access to Health Care

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines introduced a bill to permanently protect Montanans’ access to telehealth services. These services were used extensively during the pandemic and many Americans, especially those in rural areas of Montana, still depend on them to access care.

“In rural states like Montana, many folks live great distances from their nearest health care provider—a trip to a hospital or doctor’s office is not only highly inconvenient, but can also be very dangerous in emergencies or severe weather. Telehealth helps Montanans in every corner of our state. Many Montanans and rural health care providers have come to rely on expanded telehealth services to ensure access to the care folks need. Especially in rural and frontier states like Montana, we should be working to expand telehealth, not cut access when folks have come to depend on these resources,” Daines said.

Read the full text of the CONNECT for Health Act HERE

In April, Senator Daines co-chaired a U.S. Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing on Health Care to discuss the importance of improving health care access in rural Montana, where he was able to spotlight the unique challenges faced by rural health care providers. 

In March, Daines also introduced the “Telehealth Expansion Act of 2023,” which will permanently allow first-dollar coverage of virtual care under high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), allowing Montanans and all Americans to access telehealth services without the burden of first meeting a deductible. Daines previously introduced that legislation in the 117th Congress.