WASHINGTON—On behalf of our members and the 31 million patients served by community health centers each year, Advocates for Community Health (ACH) commends the U.S. House of Representatives for coming to a bipartisan agreement and passing the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act (H.R. 5378) which contains a 10% increase for the Community Health Center Trust Fund to $4.4 billion a year for a two-year period, through the end of 2025.
“The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act is a meaningful increase for health centers and is an encouraging step toward more stable and sustainable funding,” said ACH CEO Amanda Pears Kelly. “ACH has been advocating tirelessly since May 2022 for bold investment in community health centers, and we are proud to see that work come to fruition in this legislation. We are deeply grateful to our champions in the House for their steadfast commitment to health centers and their patients. We hope that this represents a down payment on a longer-term funding solution that will ensure health centers have the resources necessary to address the growing needs in their communities and fulfill their mission.”
As the nation’s largest primary care network, FQHCs serve historically marginalized communities and provide comprehensive, culturally competent, integrated care to over 31 million people. They act as a healthcare home for anyone who walks through their doors, regardless of ability to pay or insurance status.
FQHCs are economic engines that save the healthcare system billions annually and improve health outcomes in the underserved communities they serve. For every $1 invested in primary care services like those provided at FQHCs, $13 is saved in downstream costs. Additionally, for every dollar of federal funding invested in community health centers, $11 is generated in total economic activity through increased spending on related health service expenses, food services, transportation, construction, and more.
At this time of unprecedented financial challenges for health centers, our message has been clear: health centers are lifesaving, hyper-local healthcare hubs that impact every corner of our country and the patients they serve need Congress to protect this funding and make historic investments in this proven program. Financial uncertainty is detrimental to health centers’ ability to respond to the growing and complex needs of their patient populations, and they need Congress to act now.
As the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act moves to the Senate for consideration, ACH looks forward to continuing to work with Congressional leaders and federal stakeholders to ensure health centers have the resources they need now, and for years to come.
About Advocates for Community Health
Advocates for Community Health (ACH) 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, visit advocatesforcommunityhealth.org.