(Image via Facebook) Rep. Antonio Delgado participates in a virtual meeting during the coronavirus pandemic.
(Image via Facebook)

Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-N.Y.) is calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to release funding for long term care facilities. 

After repeated delays in allocating funding for nursing homes and care facilities, Delgado sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar to get answers about why the money had been delayed. 

According to Delgado’s office, there have been more than 7,700 outbreaks at nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country since the pandemic began. Those living in these facilities can least afford to become ill as they are often already immunocompromised or high risk. 

“The outbreaks at nursing homes across upstate New York and our country are heartbreaking, and these funding delays are unacceptable,” said Rep. Delgado in a statement. “Every single day that our long term care facilities don’t get the funds approved by Congress is dangerous to the health and safety of those most vulnerable to the virus. The HHS Secretary must respond for these funding delays as soon as possible.”

Delgado and congressional colleagues urged HHS to respond to his request immediately and release the funding Congress already approved for long term care facilities and nursing homes. Between the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program, about $175 billion was earmarked for healthcare providers that provide testing and diagnostic services for patients with COVID-19. But long term care facilities have only received $3 billion in federal assistance since the bills were signed into law. 

“We urge you to release PHSS funds appropriated by the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection and Health Care Enhancement Act to long-term care facilities as soon as possible,” Delgado wrote in the letter. “Additional financial support is essential to protecting the vulnerable populations these facilities serve.”

Delgado and his colleagues also requested that HHS brief Congress about the funding delays. 

“We are deeply troubled and frustrated by the delays and the lack of clarity around the agency’s decision-making process to date,” they wrote