How did we get here?
As of Friday afternoon, Congress still hasn’t agreed upon a Continuing Resolution (CR) that can pass both Houses of Congress and prevent the federal government from shutting down.
Thursday evening, the House passed a CR that would keep the government’s doors open through February 16th. The House-passed bill provides a six-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and also delays various ACA taxes on health insurers, medical devices, and high-end health insurance. However, this package does not include any funding for Community Health Centers, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program, or other critical “health care extenders.” In the Senate, this bill currently lacks the 60 votes necessary to send the package to the White House.
Senators from both parties have publicly expressed their opposition to the House-passed CR due to disagreements over several issues, including funding for health centers, the NHSC, and THCs. Other areas of disagreement include extending protections for “Dreamers,” and funding for national defense, disaster relief, and the opioid crisis. Unless Congress comes to an agreement on a short-term CR by midnight, many parts of the government will shut down in full or in part at that time.
How would a shutdown impact our operations?
During a shutdown:
- Health centers are expected to continue operating as usual.
- All organizations that currently receive BPHC funding (including health center grantees, HCCNs, and PCAs) will continue being able to drawdown FY2017 and FY2018 Federal funds for which they have received a Notice of Award. Grantees on drawdown restriction will continue to need BPHC approval to drawdown funds.
In the event that a shutdown actually occurs, we expect that BPHC will reach out to all grantees early on Monday with more information.
Will NACHC staff be available to assist us during a shutdown?
Absolutely. All NACHC staff will be available as usual. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns in the coming days.
Regardless of whether the government shuts down, Congress will continue working – and Health Centers will continue to be an important part of their conversations. You can continue stressing the urgency and importance of a fix to the Health Center Funding Cliff with your Members of Congress through the HCAdvocacy action center here.