Steube Stands up for Florida’s Seniors by Urging HHS to Allocate Unused Provider Relief Funds
PUNTA GORDA, FLA. – U.S. Representative Greg Steube (R-Fla.) on Thursday joined colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar, urging the Administration to allocate unused Provider Relief Fund monies to assisted living and long-term care facilities to help these communities fight the effects of COVID-19.
“Assisted living and long-term care facilities are on the front lines of caring for Florida’s most vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic but have not received adequate resources,” Steube said. “As we round the corner towards beating the pandemic, we need to do everything possible to empower our seniors and their caregivers by allocating resources for rapid testing, vaccinations and treatments.”
Specifically, the letter asks for HHS to allocate unused Provider Relief Funds to procure tests, acquire additional PPE, and implement widespread testing and vaccinations when available. The Provider Relief Fund was established through the CARES Act and allowed HHS to distribute $175 billion to hospitals and healthcare providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the letter points out, senior living communities represent more than two million seniors and one million front line caregivers. This includes 21,600 assisted living, memory care, continuing care retirement communities, and independent living communities. In 2018, the Department of Elder Affairs estimated that there were over 4 million Floridians over the age of 65, and 561,273 Floridians over the age of 85.
The success of long-term care facilities also has a positive economic impact for the entire state with facilities supporting an estimated $26.68 billion of Florida’s economy.
The letter is a part of Steube’s continued fight for Florida’s senior citizens. Last month, Steube joined President Trump in Fort Myers to celebrate the progress we have made in protecting Florida’s seniors – both during COVID-19 and with various initiatives to lower healthcare costs and provide new choice options.
The full text of the letter can be found here.