Fight For Health Centers Until the Cliff is Fixed!
Congress failed to pass a health centers funding cliff fix ahead of the September 30 deadline! The September 30 deadline was also critical to programs vital to Health Centers, including the National Health Service Corps, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Teaching Health Centers.
The House Energy & Commerce Committee recently advanced, in party-line votes, two separate bills, the HEALTHY KIDS Act (H.R. 3921), providing a 5 year extension of CHIP funding, and the CHAMPION Act (H.R. 3922), providing a 2 year funding extension for health centers, National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Teaching Health Centers (THC). The funding offsets included in both bills are problematic for Democrats and Congress does not appear to be making progress on negotiations around a bi-partisan solution.
The longer we go without a resolution, the more likely Congress is to push the Cliff Fix into the mix for an “end-of-year” budget package.This would be risky, not only operationally for health centers, but also politically. Congress has a long and growing December to-do list. Health Centers and CHIP do not want to get wrapped up in end of year budget fights!
Status of CHIME Bills
The CHIME bills, HR 3770 in the House and S 1899 in the Senate, demonstrate our ideal, long-term cliff fix policy. Most Los Angeles representatives are already on the co-sponsor list for the House version of CHIME.
Take Action! Ask Representatives to Co-Sign Stefanik-Tsongas Dear Colleague Letter by Oct. 25!
In the House, there is a new tool to drive action and demonstrate support for a cliff fix. Representatives Stefanik (R-NY) and Tsongas (D-MA) are leading a bi-partisan Health Center Cliff Dear Colleague Letter addressed to Speaker Ryan and Minority Leader Pelosi seeking immediate action to extend health center funding and fix the cliff once and for all.The deadline to sign on is October 25!.
Reach out to your Representatives (or use NACHC’s Advocacy Hotline 1-866-456-3949) and ask them to co-sign the Stefanik-Tsongas Dear Colleague Letter to demonstrate their support for an immediate fix.
- Health centers are extremely concerned that Congress still hasn’t taken action to fix the Health Center Funding Cliff.
- 70% of the Health Center Program’s federal grant funding is at-risk. The delay and uncertainty is hurting health centers now!
- We cannot afford to risk getting wrapped up in larger budget debates in November and December, we need a fix now!
- Thank you for showing your support by co-sponsoring the CHIME Bill, HR 3770 (check co-sponsor list)**
- Please take one more step to elevate the urgency of this issue by signing onto the Stefanik-Tsongas Dear Colleague letter. The letter asks for bi-partisan action immediately to extend health center funding and fix the cliff. (Democrat offices should contact Anna Platt with Rep. Tsongas (email@example.com) and Republican offices should contact Julia Angelotti with Rep. Stefanik (Julia.firstname.lastname@example.org)). The deadline to sign on is October 25, 2017.
** If your Representative did not co-sponsor CHIME, recognize their reasons why, and suggest the Stefanik-Tsongas letter as an alternative way they can demonstrate their support.
Health Center Funding Cliff Resources
- NACHC Funding Cliff Grant Implications FAQ 091717
- Cliff Impact Info-graphic (national)
- Funding Cliff Impact Estimator tool
- Health Center Funding Cliff 101
- HR 3770 CHIME Act and Current Cosponsors
- Funding Cliff Calculator
(Produce a printable info-graphic demonstrating potential impact on your health center)
- Explainer Chart – Health Center Funding Cliff
(Visual representation of the cliff)
- Infographic: Federal CHC investments in FY15 and FY16
- Explainer – Mandatory vs. Discretionary Funding
(Understand two important components of federal health center funding)
- NACHC March 2016 Policy Paper – Investing in Community Health
(NACHC’s policy paper regarding the importance of sustainable federal funding for health centers)