Rep. Green Cuts Red Tape with Rural ER Access Act  

WASHINGTON—Rep. Green continued working tirelessly to roll back harmful regulations and cut bureaucratic red tape in Washington as he introduced his new Rural ER Access Act this week, a bill that will improve access to emergency medical care for Americans in rural communities.

Green’s legislation repeals an onerous and burdensome federal regulation, the ‘35-mile rule’, which prohibits free-standing emergency departments (FSEDs) from operating more than 35 miles from a hospital. The bill would abolish this arbitrary and unfair mileage requirement, allowing free-standing ERs to serve the rural communities that are desperately in need of such care.

Green said, “Over the past decade, more than 100 rural hospitals across America have been forced to close their doors, including 12 hospitals in Tennessee. Communities have been left without access to general health care, let alone emergency care, and many rural hospitals across our Nation continue to face significant financial difficulties.”

“As an ER physician and an Army doctor, I’ve seen this crisis firsthand and I know that federal regulations like the ‘35-mile rule’ only stand in the way. My Rural ER Access Act rolls back the 35-mile restriction to allow free-standing ERs to operate in the rural communities that need them most.”

“Americans living outside cities must not be left without healthcare access,” said Green. “We need to act now to remove the old, onerous laws that are causing our hospitals and emergency rooms to close.”

Green’s legislation comes at a critical time for the State of Tennessee, which has seen more hospital closures than any other state in the U.S. besides Texas, often due to stifling federal rules, regulations, and red tape. In Tennessee alone, 15 rural hospitals are at risk of closure, and more than 700 hospitals are at risk across the Nation.

The Rural ER Access Act builds on Rep. Green’s previous bill fighting for greater rural healthcare access to hospitals, the Rural Health Care Access Act of 2019, introduced with Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) last year.