We want to get this week off to a good start by celebrating the good news (and there is some good news these days). First, on Capitol Hill an overwhelmingly bipartisan coalition of House and Senate lawmakers sent letters to key subcommittee chairs, urging them “to recognize health centers as providers of high quality, cost-effective primary care,” and to ensure continued funding for a model of care that offers a “bipartisan solution to the primary care access problems” facing the U.S. You heard that correctly: “a bipartisan solution.” We thought this was news-making enough that we issued a press release about it. The Senate letter was signed by 62 Members of the Senate (39 Democrats, 22 Republicans and 2 Independents). The House letter was signed by 307 Members of the House (178 Democrats, 129 Republicans). That so many people of opposite political perspectives, who may disagree on many pressing issues in healthcare, found agreement on one important issue, is indeed something to celebrate.
“In an era when nearly every issue breaks down along party lines, it is clear that majorities in each party support smart investments in access to primary and preventive care. We hope and trust policymakers will take this into account as this year’s appropriations process moves forward,” observed Dan Hawkins, Senior Vice President for Policy and Research at NACHC.
Compounding that good news was an article published in AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) News that describes how health centers “play a major role in protecting the safety net.” The article, by reporter Michael Laff, notes that health centers “are emerging as the first stop for innovative approaches in patient care and employee engagement.” The article highlights the recent NACHC report on workforce and showcases a recent briefing NACHC hosted on Capitol Hill, which featured a panel of health center leaders who talked about ways their health centers are innovating in patient care and in workforce building.