Virginia Senators seek funding extension for affordable internet program

Virginia Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine joined 30 of their colleagues in urging leadership to extend funding for the Affordable Connectivity Program.

This program was created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure law and advocated for by the Senators to lower high speed internet costs for low-income Americans.

The program currently enrolls 420,000 Virginians with another one million households eligible.

The letter addressed to Congressional leaders sites the need for the program which serves 21 million families with financial assistance to help bridge the digital divide so they can afford services they need for work, school, health care and more.

The program provides a monthly discount of up to $30.00 off internet service and equipment.

Qualifying rural communities and Tribal Lands may receive a monthly discount of up to $75.00.

Participants also can receive a one time discount of up to $100 off a laptop, desktop, or tablet.

Without an extension, the 21 million families that rely on the program could lose affordable broadband services.

A lapse in funding could also cause previously enrolled families to reenroll which would create unnecessary obstacles.

Virginians can go to GetInternet.gov to sign up and find participating providers in the area.

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Warner introduces advance care planning act

Senator Mark Warner introduced the bipartisan Improving Access to Advance Care Planning Act with Senator Susan Collins.

The goal is to expand access to critical advance care planning services in Medicare which will allow people with serious illnesses to plan for their care and have their choices honored.

The act will allow social workers to provide ACP services, remove beneficiary cost-sharing, increase provider education on ACP codes, and improve reporting of barriers to ACP services.

Senator Warner first introduced legislation to improve planning options for patients in 2015.

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