The National Health Care for the Homeless Council is pleased that Congress has fixed the Health Center Funding cliff, giving Health Centers two additional years of funding through Fiscal Year 2019. The legislation passed very early this morning as part of a budget deal to keep the government running through March 23. Many other programs that support the HCH community were also funded, including the National Health Service Corps, Teaching Health Centers, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
As Health Centers serving a special population, HCH programs provide high-quality, comprehensive primary care, behavioral health care, case management, outreach, and other needed services to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness. On October 1, the Community Health Center Fund expired, which accounted for 70% of federal funding for Health Centers. Drastic cuts would have taken effect in March had Congress not reached an agreement. The four-month lapse in funding impacted operations at many Health Centers and put our clients, providers, and clinic administrators under duress. This “fix” is a long-awaited relief.
Advocacy efforts were led by our partners at the National Association of Community Health Centers, and we are grateful for their tireless leadership. For everyone in the HCH community who sent calls, emails, tweets, or met with their members: THANK YOU for your work getting this done.
Learn more from our partners at the National Association of Community Health Centers.