4 senators seek long-term health center funding

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

Senators from Vermont and New Hampshire are advocating for renewal of community health center funding, according to The Hill.

A major source of federal funding for community health centers expired Sept. 30. This source represented 70 percent of federal grant revenue for these centers, which provide primary care to 27 million vulnerable Americans, according to the report. Without congressional action, about 25 percent of the centers are slated to see this federal grant money dry up by the end of 2017.

"We write to express our serious concerns about the expiration of funding for [Health Resources and Services Administration]'s Health Center Program more than two months ago," four senators — Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Jeanne Shaheen, D, N.H., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. — wrote in a letter to Senate leaders, according to The Hill. "Congress' failure to extend this funding has caused service disruptions for the 22 community health centers and their many patients across New Hampshire and Vermont"

Congress has not fully renewed the federal grant money for the centers. However, the approximately 25 percent of health centers with grant periods beginning Jan. 1 are receiving short-term funding from HRSA for January and February, according to a separate report from The Hill. A spokesperson for HRSA told the publication about 17 percent of health centers with grant periods beginning Feb. 1 are also slated to receive one month of funding.



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