Posted by John Sawyer
Members of Congress have now introduced resolutions in both House and Senate, calling for health centers to be full participants and appropriately reimbursed as part of any health care reform effort. The House version, H.Con.Res. 144, is being led by Health Center Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Mike Capuano (D-MA) and Kay Granger (R-TX). The Senate version, S.Con.Res. 25, was introduced by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Building support for these resolutions will be a crucial part of our health reform legislative strategy. Even as dozens of different health reform bills are introduced, debated and worked over in the House and Senate throughout the summer and fall, these resolutions give all Members a chance to affirmatively (and publicly) display their support for health centers. As we build support for the resolutions through adding cosponsors, it gives that much more weight to our efforts to strengthen health centers in the final legislation.
The resolutions address both of the fundamental goals health center advocates are stressing in health reform: first, expanding our system of care to meet the need in underserved communities nationwide, and second, ensuring that health centers participate fully and are paid adequately under any expansion of coverage that takes place as part of reform.
Here in Washington, we’ve been holding dozens of meetings with key Members of Congress and their staffs to make the case that successful health reform depends on preserving, strengthening and expanding health centers. Now we need everyone to get involved. As the debate rolls forward, one thing is clear: the more members we have as cosponsors on these resolutions, the better chance we have of meeting those goals. Click here to send your member of Congress a message today!