15 Jan Recent Efforts to Address the Issue of Health Center Funding
UPDATED: Friday, February 8, 2019 at 12:00PM ET
In case you missed it, last Tuesday the Senate HELP Committee held a hearing entitled “Access to Care: Health Centers and Providers in Underserved Communities”. Four health center witnesses spoke to the importance of extending and stabilizing funding for health centers, the National Health Service Corps, and the Teaching Health Centers program. Their testimony underscored the value of federal grant funding, as well as workforce programs that are vital to health centers across the country.
Additional Legislation Expected
We also wanted to share that in addition to the two bills already introduced in the Senate (S. 106 and S. 192), we are expecting a third bill to be introduced next week by Senator Bernie Sanders (I- VT). While the details are still being ironed out, we expect this bill to include a five-year extension with increases in funding for Community Health Centers and other key programs. As we’ve said over the past few weeks, all of this action and showing of support so early in the new Congress is truly a testament to the extraordinary work of health center advocates over the past several years.
GET READY– next week, we’ll be sending a Call to Action to ask you to reach out to your Senators and urge their co-sponsorship of at least one of these bills. We will provide background information and a pre-written email; all you have to do is click send!
- Click here to read NACHC’s Press Release about the Senate Hearing
- Click here to access the hearing recording, as well as a copy of the witness testimony.
- Click here to read an op-ed by Sen. Lamar Alexander entitled “Community health centers vital to Tennessee”
UPDATED: Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 12:00PM ET
Good afternoon advocates,
We have more good news to share! In addition to the CHIME Act introduced in the Senate earlier this month (read below for the original blog post with more information), last week Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced legislation to extend health center funding, as well as several other health-related programs, for an additional five years.
What does the Senate HELP bill (S. 192) mean for health center funding?
Specifically, the bill provides five years of level funding for each of the following programs:
- Community Health Centers Fund,
- National Health Service Corps,
- Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education program,
- Special Diabetes Program at the National Institutes of Health, and
- Special Diabetes Program for Indians.
As you may know, the Senate HELP Committee has jurisdiction over the health center program in the Senate, meaning that they will play a key role in determining what will happen with our mandatory funding this year. This legislation is a strong showing of support for the need to extend health center funding well before its expiration on September 30, 2019, and we’re grateful to Senators Alexander and Murray for their support.
Upcoming Senate HELP committee hearing on health center funding
Next Tuesday, January 29th at 10:00AM ET, the Senate HELP Committee is holding a hearing entitled “Access to Care: Health Centers and Providers in Underserved Communities”. The hearing will include four health center witnesses who will speak to the importance of extended funding for health centers, the National Health Service Corps, and the Teaching Health Center program.
Given all of these exciting developments, we’re putting the final touches on materials that will allow you to most effectively connect with your Members of Congress and rally your networks to do the same. All of this action and showing of support so early in the new Congress is truly a testament to the extraordinary work of health center advocates over the past several years.
THANK YOU for all your hard work, and get ready to take action. We’ll be in touch very soon with next steps!
- Read Senator Alexander’s press release upon introduction of the bill.
- For more information on the Senate HELP hearing, including viewing the list of witnesses, watching live on 1/29 at 10:00AM ET, or accessing a recording, click here.
ORIGINAL POST: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 3:00PM ET
Happy new year, advocates!
We hope your holiday season was restful and relaxing, because now that Congress is back in session, we’ve got a lot of work to do! We are fortunate to have many individual champions in addition to broad, bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. To that end, we expect to see a few Members of Congress introduce legislation in the coming weeks to address the issue of health center funding.
Reintroduction of the CHIME Act (S. 106)
The first bill, the Community Health Improvement, Modernization, and Excellence (CHIME) Act, led by health center champions Senators Roy Blunt (R – MO) and Debbie Stabenow (D – MI), was introduced last Thursday (1/10/19). This may sound familiar to advocates who worked with us to secure health center funding last year, and we are so grateful to the sponsoring offices for the reintroduction of this piece of legislation as the 116th Congress begins.
What does this mean for health center funding?
The CHIME Act would provide reliable and dependable funding for the nation’s more than 1,400 health centers, extending the Community Health Centers Fund for an additional five years and increasing funding steadily over time to $5.0 billion in 2024. This legislation would also extend funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) for an additional five years, helping bolster the primary care workforce in underserved areas of the country.
We know you’re ready to get to work – we are, too. We are putting together materials to support you in your outreach, and help connect you directly to your Members of Congress. Our team will be in touch with next steps very soon. We’ll need each and every advocate to act and ask Congress to support health center funding in order for our efforts to be successful.
- Read NACHC’s statement in support of the reintroduction of the CHIME Act
- Read the joint press release from Senators Blunt and Stabenow about the bill
Thank you for your dedication to health center advocacy, and stay tuned!