WASHINGTON—Advocates for Community Health (ACH) applauds the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee for approving legislation to increase funding for the Community Health Center Trust Fund. The bipartisan Strengthening Community Care Act, as amended, reauthorizes the Community Health Center Trust Fund for two years and includes a 5 percent increase for the health center program. While much more funding is needed to help health centers fulfill their mission, this is a step in the right direction, and we are grateful to bill sponsors Reps. John Joyce (R-PA), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), as well as Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA) for their work to include increased funding.
We were also heartened to see the announcement from Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) outlining his vision for a future where all Americans have access to a community health center. Bold action is needed in this time of unprecedented need, and we applaud Chairman Sanders for taking a strong stand for community health centers and the health care safety net. We look forward to working with Chairman Sanders and HELP Ranking Member Bill Cassidy as the Senate reauthorization bill takes shape.
Health center leadership from across the country were on Capitol Hill this week with ACH to urge their representatives in Congress to invest in a proven, bipartisan solution to our nation’s healthcare crisis. We met with Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle and were encouraged by their support for the critical, comprehensive care health centers bring to underserved communities across the country. We see this week’s progress as affirmation that our advocacy efforts are making a difference, and we are ready to keep the momentum going to ensure health centers have the resources necessary to fill the need in the communities they serve.
ACH launched its CHC Invest Campaign last year to ensure that policymakers understand the challenges facing community health centers and the investment they need to rise above those challenges. As part of this campaign, ACH has conducted dozens of meetings with members of Congress, hosted a well-attended Congressional briefing on the need for more funding for community health centers, and spearheaded a letter from more than 140 national, state, and local stakeholders from 27 states and the District of Columbia urging Congress to increase funding for the Health Center Program.
We look forward to working with Congressional leaders and the Committees of jurisdiction as conversations on health center funding continue in order to ensure that health centers have the funding they need to help their communities thrive.
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About Advocates for Community Health
Advocates for Community Health is a membership organization for federally qualified health centers that strives to advance the delivery of health care to underserved populations and to achieve health equity for patients and communities in need. We are committed to working collaboratively to advance well-defined and forward-thinking policies at the national level. By leveraging the wisdom, agility, and innovation of our members, ACH brings bold leadership to drive change in the American healthcare system. To learn more about membership and partnership opportunities, visit www.advocatesforcommunityhealth.org or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.