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Take Action to Ensure Long-Term Health Center Funding

 
Earlier this month, Congress passed a second continuing resolution to keep the government funded and continue funding health centers through early next year. However, health centers still need a long-term funding fix. 
 
Read on to learn more about the funding status and how you can take action to help health centers!
 
Community health centers receive federal funding through the Community Health Center Fund and through the annual appropriations process. The Community Health Center Fund, which is multi-year base funding for health centers, accounts for about 70% of federal funding and was last reauthorized three years ago. Health centers also receive about 30% of their federal funding through the annual appropriations process. September 30 marked the end of the fiscal year, the date on which both forms of health center funding were set to expire. 
 
What is the status of the continuing resolution? 
At the end of the fiscal year, Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded and health centers funded at current levels through November 17. The CR was supposed to provide Congress with additional time to come to an agreement on the annual appropriations bills that are needed to fund the government. However, Congress failed to come to an agreement before the November 17 deadline and instead passed another CR to keep the government funded through early next year.  

The CR Congress passed earlier this month relies on a tiered approach in which different types of funding will expire at different times. The CR extends the Community Health Center Fund, National Health Services Corps (NHSC), and Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) Program through January 19 while health center appropriations were extended through February 2.  
 
What is the status of a long-term health center funding fix? 
There are proposals in both the House and Senate to provide a multi-year extension of health center funding, but neither has come up for a vote before the full chamber. We must continue to garner support for these proposals over the next several weeks: 

H.R. 5378, the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, would provide a multi-year extension of the Community Health Center Fund and key workforce programs including: 
  • $4.4B per year for the Community Health Center Fund for the next 2 years  
  • $350M per year for the National Health Service Corps for the next 2 years  
  • Seven years of funding for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program, increasing to $300M per year 
S. 2840, the Bipartisan Primary Care and Health Workforce Act, would also provide an extension of the Community Health Center Fund and key workforce programs: 
  • $5.8B per year for community health centers for the next 3 years  
  • Three years of funding for the National Health Service Corps, increasing from $310M to $950M per year  
  • Five years of funding for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program, increasing to $300M per year 
  • $3B in capital funding for health centers, primarily for dental care and mental health care 
  • Additional funding to increase the number of nurses and primary care doctors 
There are only about 60 days left to ensure Congress comes to an agreement on community health center funding. The next few weeks are critical to garnering support for health centers in Congress.

Sign up to be a National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) advocate to get the latest information on how you can take action to support health centers.
 
Join the NACHC Congressional Postcard Campaign
You can also join the NACHC Congressional postcard campaign to share the importance of funding to your health center and thank members of Congress for their support!

Steps to Success:  
  1. Order postcards and stickers. Order soon - deliveries will take 5 days. 
  2. Ask 2-3 people at your health center to help with this effort. 
  3. Share this link https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative to find your US Representative.
  4. Determine a date and place to collect the postcards. 
  5. Use postcards as conversation starters – why are your colleagues, board members, and patients grateful for your health center?  
  6. Create a postcard delivery plan with your health center leadership. 

Make it fun! 
  • Take pictures of supporters wearing their stickers.
  • Take pictures of staff, board, and patients delivering the postcards. 
  • Post your photos and make sure to tag your Members of Congress, your health center, and the Tennessee Primary Care Association!
 
 
 

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