Welcome to the new “Health Centers on the Hill” blog. We’ll be bringing you the inside view from Washington on the latest policy developments impacting America’s Health Centers and the 18 million patients we serve.
There couldn’t be a better time to begin this blog. We are on the heels of the largest one-time investment EVER in the Health Centers Program: more than $2 billion enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Even as health centers nationwide begin to putting those resources into action – expanding access to care while creating meaningful jobs – the debate here in Washington over fundamentally reforming America’s health care system has moved to the front burner, with Congressional leaders pledging to move a bill this summer.
Earlier this week, the AP set the scene of where the health reform debate stands as Congress returns to Washington after two weeks in their districts. The Obama administration took their case to the airwaves, with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel laying out the administration’s strategy. Huge unresolved issues remain, from the role of the government, employers and individuals in any new system, to the particulars of how any such system would be paid for.
We’ll be following those and other legislative developments, with an eye toward how the debate affects America’s Health Centers, and more importantly, how America’s Health Centers can affect the debate.