Advocates Press Congress to Renew Community Health Center Funding
Thursday, August 24, 2017
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – If Congress doesn't act by September 30 - the nation's nearly 1,300 community health centers will lose 70 percent of their funding.
This issue will be front and center for thousands of patients, providers and advocates at the annual Community Health Institute and Expo, which starts today in San Diego. New data show that community health centers now serve 27 million mostly low-income Americans.
Ricardo Guzman, board chairman of the National Association of Community Health Centers, says this system expanded significantly under the Affordable Care Act - and now that funding is about to expire.
"The federal government estimates that 50,000 clinicians and other staff will lose their jobs, and most importantly, 9 million patients will lose access to care," he warns. "That's access denied."
President Trump's budget proposal does include $3.6 billion to fund health centers - which is the same amount they got via a continuing resolution two years ago.
But many clinic administrators say they hope Congress will stop kicking the can down the road and include a five-year funding deal in the federal budget.
Guzman says he's also troubled by the fact that the GOP continues to support massive cuts to Medicaid as part of their health-care plan.
"A lot of the lifeblood for community health centers comes out of Medicaid," he adds. "And if there's certain cuts to Medicaid or it gets block granted, that could be a big problem for us."
By law, community health centers are required to treat any patient who walks through the doors, regardless of ability to pay. The clinics often provide a one-stop shop for primary care, dental care and behavioral health in severely underserved areas.
get more stories like this via email
RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's General Assembly Special Session begins today to budget more than $4 billion in federal COVID relief funds, and advocates …
ROSLINDALE, Mass. - A new report finds Massachusetts residents would rather repair electronic devices than send them to landfills, but manufacturers …
DENVER-During the COVID health emergency, the federal government made school meals available for free to all students, regardless of their financial …
HELENA, Mont. - COVID-19 is underscoring the importance of ensuring that people's estates are in order, but estate planning can be be tricky for …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Pandemic fallout still has U.S. states clawing their way back to normalcy, and New Mexico believes its decision to provide more …
CONCORD, N.H. - New polling finds many New Hampshire voters think it's important that wealthy individuals and corporations pay what's described as …
AMARILLO, Texas - The American Farm Bureau Federation hosts more than 100 college level chapters across 35 states, but this is the first time its …
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - As activists mark more than 100 days of protest since the April 21 death of Andrew Brown Junior - killed outside his Elizabeth …