McMorris Introduces Ferry County Rural Hospital Accessibility Act
(Washington, D.C.) Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) today introduced H.R. 1138: The Ferry County Rural Hospital Accessibility Act, the bill will allow for a small parcel of Federal land in the Colville National Forest to be given to the Ferry County Public Health District as a site for a new assisted living facility. This is the first piece of legislation McMorris has introduced in the 109th Congress.
“One of my top priorities in Congress is to ensure quality, affordable health care for the people of the 5th congressional district,” said McMorris. “This legislation will help establish an assisted living facility in Ferry County and provide for a variety of health care services for this rural community.”
The bill has been referred to the Resources Committee and is currently in the Forest and Forest Health Subcommittee. Companion legislation is also being introduced in the Senate.
Ferry County residents are over 70 miles from Spokane, making access to medical care more difficult. McMorris has championed healthcare for Eastern Washington and rural communities throughout her tenure in the Washington State legislature, including prime sponsorship of the Critical Access Act which allows rural hospitals to get reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid.
The studies required to purchase federal property, such as archaeological and soil, would cost Ferry County in excess of the property’s fair market value. The bill would give authority to the U.S. Forest Service to transfer ownership of land to Ferry County. This would in turn allow the Ferry County Public Health District to utilize the money it set aside to purchase the federal land for the construction of the assisted living facility.