Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio and American Academy of Family Physicians Washington, DC, Office
On November 3, the full House passed the Championing Healthy Kids Act. (HR 3922) to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education (THCGME), National Health Service Corps (NHSC), and other health programs. The vote was 242 to 174. The American Academy of Family Physicians had sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in support of the reauthorization of CHIP, THCGME, Community Health Centers, and the NHSC and looks forward to the identification and enactment of more bipartisan offsets for these critical programs.
A bipartisan group of more than 150 lawmakers is calling for Congress to reauthorize funding for community health centers (Source: “Bipartisan Lawmakers Urge Health Center Funding Reauthorization,” The Hill, October 30, 2017).
A provision in the Affordable Care Act called for the creation of a special trust fund for community health centers, which serve more than 25 million people regardless of their ability to pay for their medical services. The money accounts for 70% of federal grant funding for community health centers, and the dollars, reauthorized in 2015, expired at the end of September.
Five leaders of the House group have introduced a bipartisan standalone measure that would reauthorize the fund for five years, providing steady increases each year. The House Energy and Commerce Committee also passed a measure to extend funding for two years. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) also have introduced a standalone bill in the Senate to reauthorize funding for community health centers for five years.