Commentaries Health & Environment

Fiscal Cliff Threatens To Cut Federal Funds to Community Health Centers by Seventy Percent

NEW Health in the North End has joined community health centers across the country in waiting with bated breath as Members of Congress work to fix the federal funding cliff that could result in a loss of 70% of health center funding across the United States if a solution is not found by September 30.

Community Health Centers now serve 1 in 12 Americans, or 27 million people.  Health centers don’t just save lives, they also lower health care costs, create jobs, and reduce hospital visits so that fewer dollars are spent on “sick care.” But unless Congress acts by the end of this month to extend their funding, the consequences for these health centers and their patients will be drastic.

The program would be reduced by approximately 70%. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) itself has projected that the impact would be dramatic: closure of 2,800 health center locations, elimination of more than 50,000 jobs, and a loss of access to care for more than 9 million patients. The program has been in place for more than 50 years and enjoys broad bipartisan support in Congress. Right now more than 75 national organizations,  representing doctors, nurses, hospitals, health centers, children, patients, the faith community, financial institutions and health care industry partners, are banding together and calling on lawmakers to extend health center funding before September 30.

Community members in support community health centers like NEW Health are urged to reach out to their Members of Congress to tell them to fix the cliff. You can click here to take action now.