Congressman Adrian Smith and Senator Deb Fischer released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) released a document making hospitals receiving less than 50 percent of their funding from state and local governments eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This new rule effectively allows all small hospitals in Nebraska’s Third District eligible for the program.
“The inclusion of small hospitals in PPP is great news for rural America. Nebraskans across the state rely on rural hospitals and it is critical these hospitals have access to PPP as they pause non-essential operations to comply with social distancing guidelines. We thank President Trump and his administration for this fix, and will continue to work to lessen the impact COVID-19 has had in our rural communities,” said Rep. Smith.
“For the past week, I worked hard to ensure publicly owned hospitals will be included in the PPP program. In many of our rural areas, these hospitals are vital community assets and the largest employers. I spoke directly to President Trump and Secretary Mnuchin about this and I thank the administration for taking this important step which will extend relief to more of our Nebraska hospitals,” said Senator Fischer.
“The National Rural Health Association greatly appreciates Representative Smith, Senator Fischer, and other Hill champions who worked tirelessly to correct this grave inequity. These small, rural, governmental hospitals are not-for-profit and provide care to some of the most vulnerable patients in the nation. Without access to the PPP, I fear many of these financially vulnerable facilities may be forced to shutter their doors,” said Alan Moran, CEO, National Rural Health Association
“The NHA and its member hospitals are certainly appreciative of the latest guidance by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Many of our rural hospitals are government owned and this action will provide essential funds that will allow these facilities to operate and continue to serve our Nebraska communities,” – Nebraska Hospital Association.
Smith had previously led more than 80 House members in writing a letter to Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin and Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Jovita Carranza for this inclusion.
Senator Fischer strongly advocated for publicly owned hospitals to become eligible for PPP. She spoke on the phone with President Trump, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows about the challenges publicly owned hospitals in Nebraska were facing and why they should be eligible for this program.