Blog

CHC Funding: March 8 Deadline

 
Congress must come to an agreement on health center funding before funding expires on March 8. Read on to learn more about what may come next for 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, 2023, marked the end of the fiscal year, the date on which both forms of health center funding were set to expire. Congress has since passed multiple short-term continuing resolutions to fund the government and health centers for a few months at a time. 
 
Community Health Center Funding Beyond the Continuing Resolution 
Congress passed a short-term continuing resolution more than a week ago to keep the government funded until Congress can agree on and pass the annual appropriations bills. Funding for community health centers and workforce programs including the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program were extended through March 8.  

Although health center funding was included in the CR, it is simply unsustainable for health centers to continue operating on short-term extensions. Back in December, the House passed H.R. 5378, the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, which would provide a multi-year extension of health center funding and key workforce programs. The House bill garnered support from Tennessee's Congresswoman Harshbarger (R-1), Congressman Burchett (R-2), Congressman Fleischmann (R-3), Congressman DesJarlais (R-4), Congressman Rose (R-6), Congressman Green (R-7), and Congressman Kustoff (R-8). 

The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee also passed the Bipartisan Primary Care and Workforce Act out of the committee at the end of last year, but the bill has not been voted upon in the full Senate. 

Each of the bills contains a long-term extension of health center funding and critical workforce programs, with some key differences: 
 
H.R. 5378, the Lower Costs More Transparency Act includes: 
  • $4.4B per year for the Community Health Center Fund for the next 2 years  
  • $350M per year for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) for the next 2 years  
  • Seven years of funding for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program, gradually increasing to $300M per year 
S. 2840, the Bipartisan Primary Care & Health Workforce Act contains:  
  • $5.8B per year for the Community Health Center Fund for the next 3 years  
  • Three years of funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), increasing from $310M to $950M per year  
  • Five years of funding for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program, at $300M per year 
  • $3B in capital funding to support construction and renovation with an emphasis on behavioral health and dental 
  • 15% base grant increase  
 
How You Can Help
Health centers need Congress to come to a long-term funding solution before March 8. Health centers cannot continue operating with this much financial uncertainty. To continue providing high-quality care to their patients and communities, health centers need reliable and predictable funding.

We need advocates in Tennessee and across the country to continue raising their voices in support of health centers. Please continue to reach out to your members of Congress, whether through calls, emails, and in-person visits, or social media channels. Use the links below to quickly connect with your members of Congress and continue the push for health center funding. 
 
 
 

Contributors

Contributors

Upcoming Events

View All Events