Last week, the bipartisan sign-on letter led by Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) indicating support for the Health Centers program to the House Labor-HHS Subcommittee on Appropriations Chair Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) closed with a total of 164 signatures, including 26 Republicans. This was an overall increase from last year’s letter which included a total of 129 signatures, and the support was even more bipartisan. This was a very solid outcome and a great testament to the work of the health center grassroots. You can view the letter here and the list of signers here.
Yesterday, the bipartisan Senate Dear Colleague letter to Chairman Tom Harkin(D-IA) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), led by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Boozman (R-AR) closed with a total of 48 signatures, including 38 Democrats, 9 Republicans and 1 Independent. This is also an increase over last year’s letter which had a total of 44 signatures. You can view the letter here and the list of signers here. Once again, the health center grassroots stepped up in this effort, and the thousands of health center advocates who took to Capitol Hill this past week during the NACHC Policy and Issues Forum played a central role in sealing the deal and securing dozens of new signers. The Appropriations Labor-HHS Subcommittee which funds the Health Centers program is still accepting individual programmatic requests from all Senators. The Subcommittee’s deadline is set for tomorrow, March 29th.
These letters are a key part of the way in which Members of Congress can publicly show their support for health centers and they are proof positive of the strong and growing bipartisan support for the Health Centers program. The success of these letters is a direct result of the hard work of our health center advocates. So thank you and please stay tuned for updates on the Appropriations process as it moves forward!