WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Senate Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education Appropriations Subcommittee today approved legislation that funds the Health Centers program at a total programmatic level of $2.78 billion. This legislation, were it to become law, provides funding to maintain current levels of federal grant support and all existing operations at Health Centers, and will also extend access to care to over 1.5 million additional people in need of care. An estimated 60 million Americans -- many of whom have health insurance -- do not have access to primary medical care because of a shortage of providers in their communities.
Importantly, this legislation allows the full Community Health Center Fund increase to be used to support expansion of the Health Centers program, consistent with the original intent of the Fund. This legislation would allow HHS to fund applications among the more than 1,800 pending at the Department for new and expanded health centers.
"We are pleased and appreciative that this bill advances our goal of promoting the provision of cost-effective and high-quality care to underserved populations across the country," said Dan Hawkins, policy director for the National Association of Community Health Centers. "We look forward to continuing to work with Members of Congress to ensure the long-term viability of health centers and to restore the program's base funding."
Read the Summary of the FY12 Labor, HHS, and Education Appropriations Bill here
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