Last week, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., teamed up with U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-SC, the chairman of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, in bringing out the “Mobile Options for Testing In Our Neighborhoods (MOTION) Act.”
The bill would authorize $400 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to offer funds for mobile testing for coronavirus in underserved areas.
Mucarsel-Powell, a top target for the GOP in November, drew on her background as associate dean of Florida International University’s (FIU) College of Medicine, in explaining why she introduced the bill.
“As a child, I watched my mother work double shifts as an at-home care provider, inspiring me to dedicate my career to expanding access to health care. I understand that in order to have healthy communities, we need to go directly into neighborhoods and meet people where they are. That is what I did when I worked at FIU and helped create the NeighborhoodHELP program to establish mobile health centers that went directly into our neighborhoods, and it is what I’m doing now with the introduction of the MOTION Act,” said Mucarsel-Powell on Thursday.
“This bill expands coronavirus testing in hard-to-reach communities and is critical for those that lack access to medical facilities for testing, or those that don’t have access to vehicles or have difficulty accessing traditional walk-up or drive-through testing locations. I’m eager to see this pass through the House and I urge the Senate and president to support this much-needed service,” she added.
“As chairman of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, I have heard from numerous public health experts on the devastating disparities in healthcare and the urgent need for dramatically increased testing. That is why I am pleased to join Rep. Mucarsel-Powell in introducing legislation to provide underserved communities with access to critically needed mobile testing sites,” said Clyburn. “The Trump administration refuses to lead the nation out of this first wave of COVID-19 with a unified national plan. Therefore, we must do everything we can to ensure all Americans have the resources they need to prevent the spread of this virus.”
The National Association of Community Health Centers and the National Rural Health Association are backing the proposal.
The bill has 10 other cosponsors besides Clyburn including Florida Democrats U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch, Darren Soto and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The bill was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee last week. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.
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