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Oklahoma Delegation Applauds Administration Allowing Publicly Owned Hospitals Inclusion in CARES Act Programs

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation today released the following statements after the Small Business Administration (SBA) clarified this morning that publicly owned rural hospitals will be eligible to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and other financial assistance relief provided through the CARES Act:

Lankford: “I am grateful for SBA’s attention to the important issue we raised that will allow Oklahoma’s rural, municipality-owned hospitals to access the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds just like private hospitals already can,” said Lankford. “I have been in direct contact with rural Oklahomans and rural health providers during the pandemic, and I have consistently heard how much Oklahomans need our rural health facilities to remain open and serving patients and their families. Allowing access to these funds will help ensure our rural communities can continue to receive care without having to drive sometimes hours to the next-nearest hospital. I will continue to look for ways we can keep the doors open at our rural health facilities.”

Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK): “It’s great to hear that after our request, the Trump Administration will now make rural, publicly-trusted hospitals eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program and other financial assistance during this public health crisis,” Inhofe said. “As we continue to battle the coronavirus, I hope this additional assistance will provide the 43 public-trust hospitals in Oklahoma with some relief and give them the resources to fight this with even more efficiency. To all of the employees that are fighting this ting in rural hospitals across Oklahoma, we are grateful. Thank you.”

“After being brought to attention by multiple Members of Congress, I’m happy to hear that Oklahoma’s publicly owned hospitals are now eligible for financial assistance programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program, through the Small Business Administration, said Congressman Lucas.

Lucas continued, “This critically important change by the Small Business Administration is need now more than ever, as America’s rural hospitals are extremely financially vulnerable and face many challenges, even before COVID-19 hit our state.”

Congressman Tom Cole (OK-03): “I am very encouraged to see the Trump Administration expand eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to include a broader range of rural hospitals. This move will strengthen our state’s capacity for treating patients as we combat the COVID-19 pandemic in our communities. As the top Republican leader of the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Health and Human Services, I have been working closely with the Trump Administration to ensure rural hospitals receive the extra assistance they need during this unprecedented crisis. This move by the Department of the Treasury will alleviate many of the financial pressures these hospitals are experiencing. I will continue to work hard to ensure that rural hospitals in Oklahoma are taken care of.”

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02): “Our rural hospitals play an important role in ensuring rural communities have access to the care they need and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are facing new challenges. I am glad the Trump Administration listened to our request and has clarified that these hospitals are eligible for relief funding in the CARES Act. I hope this will allow them to get the assistance they need to keep serving their communities.”

Congressman Kevin Hern (OK-01): “I’m glad to see that President Trump and his Administration are allowing rural, public-trust hospitals the opportunity to utilize Paycheck Protection Program loans. Our hospital workers are selflessly charging head-first into the dangerous and unknown territory of the coronavirus. With everyone’s focus on fighting the virus and stopping the spread, hospitals are experiencing record lows on non-emergency services. In the midst of the biggest medical battle in recent memory, many hospitals are having to furlough staff. They need our help and support. This move by the President will provide some relief and ensure that our rural communities will continue to receive the care they need.”

Congresswoman Kendra Horn (OK-05): “America’s rural hospitals have faced extreme financial hardship made worse by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Congresswoman Kendra Horn (OK-5). “Today’s decision by the Small Business Administration will provide critical support for these frontline institutions during the current public health crisis. We cannot allow any more rural hospitals to go out of business as we fight a global pandemic.” 

Lankford and Oklahoma’s Congressional Delegation sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urging the Administration to make publicly trusted hospitals eligible for PPP loans and other financial assistance programs provided by the CARES Act. 


The SBA rule states that, “a hospital that is otherwise eligible to receive a PPP loan as a business concern or nonprofit organization shall not be rendered ineligible for a PPP loan due to the ownership by a state or local government if the hospital receives less than 50 percent of its funding from state or local government sources, exclusive of Medicaid.”