With Congress and President Trump agreeing to give themselves until December 20th to successfully address the 2019-2020 federal budget, the nation’s community health centers are very concerned.
It is not the first time community health centers, the source of care for 29 million uninsured and underinsured Americans, have faced an uncertain financial future. While health centers receive some revenue from discretionary dollars allocated by Congress via the Health Center Program, 70 percent of overall funding comes from the Community Health Center Fund, which expired Sept. 30.
Ms. Lathran Woodard is the CEO of the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association, which represents the state’s community health centers. She also is a national leader of these essential healthcare providers.
Lathran Woodard, the board chair of the National Association of Community Health Centers, said despite bipartisan support for providing clinics stable funding, the uncertainty on reauthorization forces clinics to operate in a “state of chaos and confusion” that makes it difficult to focus on their mission.
While there is overwhelming support for funding these community health centers, the federal funding has yet to be approved.
“The issue right now is, why is Congress taking so long to act on the reauthorization? We know a lot of other things are going on,” Woodard said. “But this is something that both sides agree on. Sometimes we feel like we’re being held hostage.”
Call the South Carolina Congressional delegation and ask them to quickly re-authorize the Community Health Center Fund. The 29 million uninsured and underinsured Americans, including 326,000 South Carolinians, need their future healthcare protected.
The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce believes that every American should have some form of health insurance or access to affordable health care. Many of the community health center patients work for our small businesses. The health of these important workers is critical to our small business economy.
SC Congressional Delegation:
Senator Lindsey Graham: (202) 224-5972
Senator Tim Scott: (202) 224-6121
Representative Joe Cunningham: (202) 225-3176
Representative Joe Wilson: (202) 225-2452
Representative Jeff Duncan: (202) 225-5301
Representative William Timmons: (202) 225-6030
Representative Ralph Norman: (202) 225-5501
Representative Jim Clyburn: (202)225-3315
Representative Tom Rice: (202) 225-9895