Hansell critical of Brown’s handling of rural hospital funds

By on Monday, July 20th, 2020 in Columbia Basin News Regional News

ATHENA – Oregon Sen. Bill Hansell says that Gov. Kate Brown has made it impossible for rural hospitals to receive CARES Act funds from the federal government. The state is supposed to be distributing that money.

The original problem with the funding was that the state had set it up as a loan program. Hansell said at that time that the state got the federal money to distribute, not to loan. It was, therefore enacted that the state would hand the money out using a simplified application process.

It didn’t stay simplified for long.

“The governor, using her emergency powers, reattached a bunch of strings,” Hansell said.

Hansell said he’s already heard from the chief executive officer of the Grande Ronde Hospital in La Grande, saying the stipulations make it untenable.

“I don’t know why we just can’t get the money to the hospitals without Salem having to put all the stuff in it that actually makes it unusable,” Hansell said.