Durbin, Duckworth, Bustos, Kinzinger Discuss COVID-19 Response With Illinois Hospitals

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16) today, on a call with more than 30 CEOs of Illinois hospitals and leaders of the Illinois Health & Hospital Association and Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network, discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Illinois and how hospitals are fighting the pandemic on the ground. 

The bipartisan members of Congress thanked the hospital representatives for everything their hospitals and health workers have done so far to help Illinois patients.  The Senators and Representatives pledged to continue to push for a direct and immediate infusion of funds for our hospitals, as well as policies to stabilize funding for rural hospitals, support the health care workforce, and increase the personal protective equipment, testing kit supplies, ventilators, and other medical resources health workers need. They also discussed how more than $2.6 billion in CARES Act grant funding, plus more than $3 billion in Medicare Advance Payments, are is being allocated to health providers across Illinois to address coronavirus-related expenditures and lost revenue. 

“I want to thank all of the hospital leaders and their staff for the heroic work they are doing on the front lines combatting this pandemic.  I will continue to work on a bipartisan basis to bolster the health care workforce, expand our testing capacity, and provide the direct assistance our hospitals throughout Illinois need to do their jobs safely,” Durbin said.

“First and foremost, I want to say how unbelievably grateful I am for all of the doctors, nurses, janitors, administrators and all hospital workers across Illinois,” Duckworth said. “Working in medicine has always been selfless, but right now, it’s courageous, too. I’ll keep working with Senator Durbin to make sure our front line health workers have the support and resources they deserve”

“The best way that we can thank our hospitals and health care providers on the front lines of this pandemic is by providing them the support they need,” said Bustos. “Today, I joined Senators Durbin and Duckworth and Rep. Kinzinger to discuss the progress that the CARES Act and interim emergency package has made in getting our hospitals the resources they need. This was an opportunity to hear directly from our health care systems about what next steps must look like and make sure that we can continue to work in a bipartisan manner to deliver for our doctors, nurses, janitors and health care workforce.”

“Hospitals across Illinois-especially rural hospitals are under severe financial stress from COVID-19.  I recently introduced the bipartisan Rural Hospital Closure Relief Act with Senator Durbin. This bill would expand and utilize a tested and proven rural payment system, the Critical Access Hospital program, in order to stabilize vulnerable hospitals serving our rural communities until a long-term payment model is developed.  As we continue to face uncertain health issues across the country, the services of these rural hospital become increasingly important to our communities.  I look forward to continue to work with Senator Durbin, Duckworth and Congresswoman Bustos to ensure our hospitals and front line health workers have the resources they need to serve the people of Illinois,” said Kinzinger.