DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable Ann M. Kuster
Sent By:
Marisa.Salemme@mail.house.gov

 

 Bipartisan Letter to Support Long-Term, Robust Community Health Center Funding 

Deadline to Sign on is COB Wednesday, April 29

Please use
THIS FORM
 to sign 

 

Dear Colleague:  

We welcome you to join our bipartisan letter urging leadership to prioritize both long-term reauthorization and additional infrastructure funding for community health centers (CHCs) in any forthcoming legislation.

The recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act extended funding for CHCs, the National Health Service Corps, and teaching health centers that operate GME programs (THCGME) at current funding levels through November 30, 2020, and included
$1.3 billion in supplemental funding for health centers for Fiscal Year 2020. However, CHCs operate on extremely thin margins that have already been stretched due to Coronavirus response efforts. Given the health center’s vital role in protecting vulnerable
populations, both in rural and urban areas, more needs to be done to ensure their long-term financial viability. We urge leadership to consider legislation reauthorizing CHCs for five years to provide long-term, sustainable funding.

It is also critical that future legislation considers the urgent infrastructure needs of CHCs. Now more than ever, infrastructure funding is essential to both support ongoing projects to address unmet primary care needs that have been suspended due to COVID-19,
as well as support the implementation of various new infrastructure needs to provide ongoing and necessary care during the pandemic.

We hope that you will join us in continuing to advocate for robust resources for these critical providers.

If you have any questions, please contact Marisa Salemme (Marisa.salemme@mail.house.gov) in Congresswoman Annie Kuster’s office, or Shayne Woods (Shayne.woods@mail.house.gov) in Congressman Gus Bilirakis’
office.

Please use THIS FORM to sign on by COB Wednesday, April 29

 

____________________________

Letter Text

 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer: 

 

Thank you for your tireless efforts to ensure our nation’s health care providers have the resources they need to effectively prepare for and respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As both chambers continue to work on a fourth package to address
this public health crisis, we write to urge you to prioritize both long-term reauthorization and additional infrastructure funding for community health centers (CHCs)in any forthcoming legislation.

The recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act extended funding for CHCs, the National Health Service Corps, and teaching health centers that operate GME programs (THCGME) at current funding levels through November 30, 2020 and included
$1.3 billion in supplemental funding for health centers for Fiscal Year 2020. However, CHCs operate on extremely thin margins that have already been stretched due to Coronavirus response efforts, resulting in a major reduction in patient visits and loss of
revenue. As such, the pandemic has had a dramatic economic impact on our health centers, many of which have been forced to implement safeguarding measures to ensure the financial stability of their organization for the long-term. This includes some having
made difficult personnel decisions, including a temporary reduction in staffing during this global health crisis.

Given the health center’s vital role in protecting vulnerable populations, both in rural and urban areas, more needs to be done to ensure their long-term financial viability. Ensuring long-term, robust health center funding is essential to health centers’
ability to recruit and hire providers, expand capacity and plan for dramatic increases in demand for services, particularly as this crisis evolves. We urge you to consider legislation reauthorizing CHCs for five years to provide long-term, sustainable funding.

It is also critical that future legislation takes into account the urgent infrastructure needs of CHCs. We have been encouraged by the House adoption of $10 billion in program and capital improvement funds for CHCs as part of H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings
Lower Drug Costs Now Act. Now more than ever, infrastructure funding is essential to both support ongoing projects to address unmet primary care needs that have been suspended due to COVID-19, as well as support the implementation of various new infrastructure
needs to provide ongoing and necessary care during the pandemic. This includes rapidly adopted and expanded remote telemedicine and video medicine care for patients to access the care they need while mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus.

We look forward to continuing to work towards our shared commitment to protecting and expanding health care for American families, ensuring the long-term stability needed for CHCs to deal with this crisis, and supporting CHCs to meet current patient care
needs as well as address any future surges in patient need related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.   

 

Sincerely,

 

Ann McLane Kuster                                                               Gus Bilirakis

Member of Congress                                                              Member of Congress

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Family Issues, HealthCare

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