ATA whacks the FCC on rural telehealth funding (US)

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On 14 July, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) sent a letter to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman sharply criticizing the FCC for continued inaction on and mismanagement of the Universal Service Support Mechanism for Rural Healthcare. Despite the General Accounting Office’s (GAO) critical report eight months ago, and last year’s stated goal to provide up to $400┬ámillion annually to support healthcare delivery, only about $80 million will be┬áspent this year (outside of a one?time pilot program commitment). This perpetual football has been aerial for a year [TA 27 July 2010]. And what happened to the soaringly ambitious National Broadband Plan [TA 30 April 2010]? Well, heck, we don’t have the money anyway….and 2020’s only 9 years away! ATA public letter