By: Robert Kidney
We blogged earlier this fall about the decreasing state support for health centers in the wake of widespread economic distress in state budgets. Decision makers in statehouses and local governments across the country have said both publicly and privately that health centers have become a target for drastic cuts due, at least in part, to the recent federal investments through the 2009 economic stimulus legislation (ARRA) and 2010 federal health reform law (Affordable Care Act).
In response to this disturbing trend, NACHC sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius requesting clarification for state and local policymakers on the intent of these federal investments—specifically, that the federal money in the Affordable Care Act is not intended to supplant state and local funding for health centers and should not be used as a rationale for cutting essential support; that the intent is to significantly expand prevention and primary care on a proven model, as a means to both improve quality and substantially reduce health care costs.
As many states begin their 2011 legislative sessions in less than one month, NACHC will continue to follow these trends and work with state primary care associations to ensure that decision makers at all levels of government have the right information about health center funding.