An interview with the sponsor of Rural Healthcare Connectivity Act 2015

Who is John Thune?

John Thune is a United States politician currently serving as a senator for Southern Dakota. He was born on the 7th of January 1961 in the town of Murdo, South Dakota to Yvonne Patricia and Harold Richard. In 1979, he graduated from the Grand Jones High school and proceeded to Biola University where he graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree in Business in 1983.

What is your history of political involvement?

My political career started when I first took the work of a legislative assistant for Senator James Abdnor between 1985 and 1987. In the year 1989, I relocated to Pierre Southern Dakota and served for two years as the executive director for the Republican Party. I later received the appointment of being Railroad director in Southern Dakota by Governor Mickelson George serving in 1991 to 1993. From then to 1996, I was made the executive director of the Southern Dakota Municipal league. In 1996, I decided to vie in the elective politics where he I was a candidate in the Southern Dakota’s House of Representatives lone seat, where I won against my competitor Rick Weiland. I first ran as a senator for South Dakota in 2002 but lost to the Incumbent, Tim Johnson and in 2006, I presented a political challenge to Tom Daschle; then United States’ leader of senate minority and I won the seat. Come 2010, no candidate contested the seat against me and I was therefore- elected with 100% of the votes. I have served in various positions in the senate like in December 6 2006, I was chosen by the republican senate as the deputy chief whip of the GOP’s.

What are your current political involvement, constituent groups, and number of terms in office, committee responsibilities, and other leadership experience?

In the senate, I am currently engaged with quite a number of bills such as; the bill aimed at increasing compliance with the food stamp laws, the bill aimed at protecting the motor vehicle safety whistleblower and also reward them financially. We have also been debating on the bill aimed at allowing diabetic testing supplies be sent through mails to individuals by the retail community pharmacies and the most recently is the Rural Healthcare connectivity Act of 2015.As I have mentioned before, I was first elected in the senate in 2004 and re-elected in 2010 which means I am serving my second term in office as a senator. In the senate, I have as well served in various committees of finance, agriculture, nutrition and forestry and the committee of budget. I have also served in the committees of commerce, science and transport and various subcommittees of the above mentioned committees .My presence in these committees, has made me get the opportunity to discuss and debate many bills both in the senate and the respective committees .For example in the finance committee, we had the responsibility of coming up with a bill to exempt from the income tax any monetary awards from the Olympic Games or the Paralympics Games, I have leadership experience and this is evident from the positions I have held both in the senate as deputy chief whip on GOP’s and as chairman of republican policy committee in my party. All this have given me a lot of experience especially on matters to do with governance in my political career.

What is your current policy agenda or judicial interest?

I stand with other republicans in their effort to stop Obama’s EPA carbon pollution standards and the jurisdictional clean water act. However, I would like to prioritize the congressional actions on national ambient air quality standards for the ozone


Who sponsored the rural healthcare connectivity act 2015?

It is me who has sponsored the bill in the senate.

What is the bill about and when was it introduced in the senate?

The bill was first introduced in the senate on August 3 2015 and it seeks the inclusion of skilled nursing facilities to serve as the healthcare providers under section 254(h) of the 1934 communication act. It is aimed at serving the persons in the rural or upcountry areas at the rates that are can be reasonably compared to those rates existing in the urban areas.

What is your interest in the bill?

It is important to note that we are in a country where every citizen should be treated equally and therefore it will be reasonable enough to make those in the rural areas also get health services as those in urban centres. The bill seeks to avail the services in the rural areas and that is my interest and happiness when the services are available to all regardless of where they live.

Do you think the bill will pass in the senate?

I am very confidence the bill will be voted and become law eventually. Though as we speak, few senate members seem to have not embraced it but I know they will especially members from the republican side.

In my view, the senator is a man of a vast leadership experience and is clearly evident from the various positions he has occupied and the bills he has sponsored in the senate. The rural healthcare connectivity act in my view is a good idea that needs to be passed into law because it will help many people in the rural areas and this will bring equality among the American people.


Gov Track, (2015), The S. 1916: Rural Health Care Connectivity Act of 2015, Retrieved from, (2014), John Thune Biography. Retrieved from,





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