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An Innovative Source for Rural Health Care Emerges (Guest: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai)

July 3, 2018

Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, joins the show to discuss his efforts to boost health care access in rural America through telemedicine.

On June 25, 2018, the FCC passed an order to increase the annual cap on program spending for their Rural Health Care Program by nearly 43 percent. The program's previous $400 million cap was 20 years old and was never indexed for inflation. Chairman Ajit Pai recognized a growing demand for telemedicine services — health care services provided online via the internet — from the nation's rural areas. Pai, whose own father was a physician in rural America, says the efforts of his agency are intended to help rural areas receive quality health care during a time when doctor shortages and hospital closings are all too real.

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Sarah Lee is a policy advisor for health care and a host of Heartland's Health Care News podcast.