Senator backs broadband subsidy to advance care access
- Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) has sent a letter to the FCC and VA urging the agencies to expand the FCC’s Lifeline phone service subsidy program to include broadband access, and coordinate enrollment opportunities for low-income veterans with the VA.
- The program provides phone service subsidies to low-income households.
- The proposal “would help veterans access affordable quality health care services,” Blumenthal wrote.
Blumenthal, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans' Affairs committee, noted that broadband and telecommunications technologies are “pivotal to conduct daily activities.”
“With a broadband connection at home, veterans can check their claims status, apply for new benefits, download their health history, or view their military service record utilizing the eBenefits web portal, and apply for employment or housing opportunities through online resources,” he wrote.
Critics of the program say it's already abused, even without broadband subsidies. The FCC voted earlier this year to probe ways to expand the program and improve its accountability.
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