Krystal E. Knight, MPH
Great news from the House of Representatives!
Yesterday the House Labor-HHS Subcommittee on Appropriations released the mark-up of its annual spending bill. The proposal sets the FY 2011 spending levels for all discretionary health programs located within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Health Centers program.
As you know, NACHC has been advocating that Congress fund the Health Centers program at least at last year’s level, which was $2.19 billion. This funding level, coupled together with the $11 billion Community Health Center Fund passed as part of the Affordable Care Act, will allow the full intent of the health reform bill to be realized. Recognizing this, the House Subcommittee has now officially proposed that the Health Centers program be funded at $2.19 billion in FY2011! Health Centers will now be on a path to serve an additional 20 million patients over the next five years, doubling the size of the program to 40 million patients.
While NACHC is pleased with the recent Subcommittee activity, our work on the appropriations front is not over yet! The Senate Labor-HHS Subcommittee on Appropriations will mark up its bill on July 22nd, and then the full Senate Appropriations Committee mark up will be held on July 27th. In the meantime, NACHC will continue to focus our attentions to key Senate Appropriations Committee members, especially those who are members of the Labor-HHS subcommittee.
It is great news that the House Subcommittee has now supported adequate funding of the Health Centers program, but our advocacy in the Senate will be critical during this extremely tight appropriations season. Therefore NACHC will continue to push for funding in the Senate that will enable the vision of the health reform bill to become a reality in FY2011.
NACHC would like to say thanks to those of you who contacted your Members of Congress in support of FY2011 funding, and we will continue to keep you all up-to-date on the appropriations process as we move into next week’s Senate mark ups!
Can someone explain how we are going to be able to double the number of patients seen at the same appropriation level as last year?
Is there a different piece of legislation that appropriates more for the next fiscal year? We are overwhelmed with uninsured patients (tripling our patient numbers between 2008 and this year).
Frank J. Principi
Thanks for your comment.
While our discretionary appropriation may stay the same at $2.19 billion, the Health Centers program will be receiving an increase in funding through the CHC Fund, which was passed as part of health reform. Health centers will receive $1 billion from this Fund for FY 2011, above our estimated level-funding of $2.19B.
The CHC Fund will serve as the increase for the Health Centers program for the next 5 years. Because all the money from the Fund will be in addition to regular discretionary appropriations, NACHC does not anticipate the need to request a discretionary increase over the next 5 years.
Because the CHC Fund will act just like the current 330 grant, it should provide additional funding for health centers, and assist health centers such as yours with providing services to the uninsured.
Hopefully this was helpful! Feel free to email me or leave another comment if necessary!
Could you tell me if this includes funding for New Access Point grants? And if so, do you know how much and how many grants?
$9.5 billion of the CHC Fund is dedicated to health center operations, and we’re sure it will operate just like the 330 grant: it will fund new sites/starts, expanded medical capacity, and service expansions. So it will definitely go towards funding NAP grants.
We’re not sure exactly how many grants will be funded, but we know that HRSA is dedicated to expanding the program, and wants to have a lot of them funded. As soon as we have more information on this front, we’ll let you know!
Is any of the HRSA CHC Fund dedicated or inclusive of capital funding? Or is discretionary appropriation — that is, earmarks — the only path to receiving capital funding through HHS in 2011 or 2012? Thank you, Barbara E.
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