Congress is in the midst of considering significant changes to our health care system that will impact all 1,400 community health centers across the country and the over 25 million people we serve. Key Committees in the House of Representatives have already voted to advance the American Health Care Act, and it may be brought forward for a vote in the full House before the end of the month.
As drafted, this bill could profoundly reshape the Medicaid program and the benefits it provides for our patients, while at the same time doing nothing to avert the “health center funding cliff” - a 70% cut in funding for health centers slated to occur on September 30, 2017. Combined, both of these actions will severely impact health centers around the nation that depend upon reliable and sustainable reimbursements from Medicaid and Section 330 Grants to keep their doors open and provide health care access for millions of Americans. On March 13th, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the bill would lead to the loss of coverage for 24 million people, including 14 million Medicaid beneficiaries, by 2026.
For over 50 years, health centers have worked with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to improve the quality of health care, lower costs, and increase access to comprehensive health services in nearly every community. Now, it is more important than ever that we share our message with Congress before they vote on the American Health Care Act.