Health Center News

A Note About Bipartisanship on Election Day

maureenWith Election Day finally upon us, we’re reflecting on the strides Community Health Centers have made in their journey for over half a century. Regardless of the election’s outcome, health centers and the people who are proud to work in them are committed to the idea of empowering communities, whether it’s through voting, fighting for affordable access to care, or improving health outcomes for at-risk populations. We’re also proud that expanding health centers remains an issue on which both Republicans and Democrats can and do agree. There are more health centers located in medically underserved communities because elected leaders on Capitol Hill and in the White House decided they are a solution to saving lives and keeping down health care costs.

As NACHC Board Chair Ricardo Guzman explained in this op-ed recently published in The Hill:

“The success of the Health Center Program has helped drive its growth to nearly 25 million people or one in 13 Americans. The surge is extraordinary in part because it could not have happened without the agreement among Republicans and Democrats to put more health centers in communities. Both Presidents George W. Bush and President Barack Obama were key architects of the program’s expansion over the course of their administrations. They understood that expanding affordable care is a moral imperative but, more to the point, it’s also a good investment in the public’s health.” 


  1. PLEASE consider supplementing your response to the HRSA proposed compliance manual. In the current political climate HRSA should consider being out front in decreasing regulatory issues and placing more control in the hands of community Board of Directors. If HRSA did so, and emphasized the world “Community” in its dealings with Congress and the new administration, it is highly possible the help center program would be front and center as a leader in the de-regulation movement. We serve millions and millions of patients. We need to put that fact first in convincing HRSA to take the lead in the movement to make the word “Community” a meaningful and real word with real world consequences for the health center program. My concern is that if HRSA does not do so, and begin now to do so, the health center program will suffer – and our patients will suffer even more.

    Now is the time for NACHC to lead the way and let HRSA officials know that the political landscape has changed, and for the sake of the program and our patients, HRSA should proactively lead a de-regulatory process before the new administration does it for them. Let’s strengthen our program by leading the effort for health centers to be businesses and seen as businesses that take care of people. Everyone wins if we do so. Our centers and our patients will suffer if we do not.

  2. For many years I have had a strong preference for the name COMMUNITY (and MIGRANT) Health Center rather than FQHC. As we all know, the Federally Qualified Health Center name is a financial designation whereas the Community Health Center name is a programmatic designation with a special origin. We can all ask and answer: What is the first word in Community Health Center? COMMUNITY! The bipartisan support is very important and I totally support helping every Congressperson, whether first elected or a veteran legislator understand this unique and vital local/federal partnership that promotes community health EVERYWHERE in our country!

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