AARP AARP States South Carolina Advocacy

Broadband Expansion Will Accelerate SC

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South Carolinian's have faced unprecedented issues in the last few years. From floods, tornadoes, hurricanes and now the COVID19 pandemic. In some way or another, we have all felt the stress and anxieties of this virus.

To say that life is not what it used to be is an understatement. As a state and individuals, we had to pivot the way children attend school, how we visit with family members near and far and how routine medical services are being delivered. This is a small list of how life has changed. But not all families could make these changes. Individuals who have access to strong and reliable internet services were able to make these adjustments.

Governor McMaster’s formation of AccelerateSC has made a strong recommendation for funding broadband expansion to the tune of more than $100 million. This funding will help every person, every age group and every business in our state. The Palmetto state is made of 46 counties both urban and rural. Through this pandemic, we have all seen the need for increased broadband services that are available to our entire state – all cities large and small.

This expansion will catapult telehealth into the future and secure better access to healthcare for our citizens. AARP SC believes that telehealth can help remove some of the barriers that contribute to health disparities in South Carolina.

Telehealth has been successfully used by health care providers during the last few months as a way to help flatten the curve and promote social distancing. Telehealth is a way to provide needed health services especially in rural areas where access to hospitals and primary care providers can be few and far between

AARP SC worked to pass legislation and was signed into law by the Governor. Now we just need to make sure folks can connect to their providers easily and affordably.

Also, we ask that the legislature provide funding for home health monitoring equipment to help control chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes and give doctors the necessary measurements to provide informed telehealth primary care. Suggested equipment would include blood pressure cuffs, glucometers, accurate thermometers and scales to show weight gain or loss. Important health literacy information should be disseminated to counter misinformation.

The tragedy that COVID19 has dealt can now be used to improve the health and well-being of South Carolina’s citizens both young and old.

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