O’Halleran Calls for Action on Community Health Center Funding
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran sent a bipartisan letter, signed by Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), David Young (R-IA-03), and Joe Courtney (D-CT-01), urging Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to bring H.R. 3770, the Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellence (CHIME) Act of 2017, to the floor for a vote before September 30th.
“As you know, community health centers face a 70 percent slash in federal funding if Congress does not act before September 30th,” the bipartisan group of legislators wrote in the letter. “According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the impact of not renewing funding will be devastating to communities across the country: 2,800 Health Center locations would close, some 51,000 jobs would be eliminated, and nine million people would be at risk of losing health care.”
“Last year, Arizona community health centers served more than 600,000 patients and provided critical jobs to nearly 5,000 doctors, nurses, and medical staff,” Rep. O’Halleran said in a statement. “If Congress does not act, more than 150 health centers will lose funding and no longer be able to serve our communities and families. I am proud to join my colleagues on this bipartisan bill that extends the Community Health Centers Funds and protects access to care for Arizona families.”
Total funding for the Health Centers program is $5.1 billion annually. Of this, $3.6 billion comes from the Community Health Centers Fund (CHCF), a dedicated source of funding that will expire at the end of the fiscal year if Congress fails to act. Earlier this month, Reps. O’Halleran, Stefanik, Young, and Courtney introduced the CHIME Act to reauthorize and extend the CHCF with modest increases to ensure responsiveness to demand for care and national priority areas.
Read the full letter here.