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Community Health Center Infrastructure

 
President Biden recently signed a bi-partisan infrastructure package into law, and the House is moving closer to a vote on the Build Back Better Act. Read on to learn more about what these bills mean for community health centers.
 
Over the past several months, Congress has been negotiating two major infrastructure packages. The first, a bi-partisan infrastructure bill, contains funding to support traditional infrastructure investments. The other bill, the Build Back Better Act, known as the ‘social infrastructure' package, contains provisions related to children and families, health care, climate change, and the economy.
 
What is the status of the bi-partisan infrastructure package? 
On November 5, the House of Representatives passed the $1.2 trillion bi-partisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which President Biden signed on Monday, November 15. The Senate passed the legislation in August, which includes $550 billion in new funding for traditional infrastructure, including roads, bridges, airports, and $65 billion to improve broadband.  
 
What is the status of the ‘social infrastructure' package? 
The House of Representatives and the Senate returned from recess this week. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi intended to hold a vote on the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better (BBB) Act, earlier this week, but a vote on the package was delayed due to requests from moderates that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score the bill first.

The CBO ‘scores' legislation by developing estimates of how legislation will impact the federal budget. The CBO is expected to develop a score for the BBB Act by the end of this week, setting up a potential vote in the House as early as the end of this week. 
 
What is contained in the social infrastructure package? 
Negotiations over the past several weeks resulted in an updated version of the ‘social infrastructure' bill, the Build Back Better Act. The latest version from the House Rules Committee includes the following funding for community health centers: 
  • $2 billion for community health center infrastructure 
  • $3.37 billion for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program 
  • $2 billion for the National Health Service Corps 
  • $500 million for the Nurse Corps 
The legislation includes several other health care provisions designed to strengthen Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including: 
  • Medicare coverage for hearing 
  • One year of continuous Medicaid coverage for pregnant and postpartum individuals 
  • One year of continuous Medicaid coverage for children 
  • A permanent extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) 
  • Premium assistance to expand health insurance coverage to people in Medicaid expansion states by allowing them to qualify for ACA Marketplace plans through 2025 
  • Enhanced investments in outreach and enrollment to connect folks to insurance coverage 
 
How You Can Help
The House of Representatives may be voting on the Build Back Better Act as soon as the end of this week.

Please consider reaching out to your House members and asking them to support the legislation! 

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