Federal Budgeting Process for FY 2013:
The ffederal Affordable Care Act recognized the need to expand community health centers to ensure that the newly insured would have a cost-effective, high-quality health care home.
For this reason, we urge our members of Congress to maintain the $3.1 billion in health center funding contained in the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations bill. This funding will allow health centers to extend care to 2.5 million new patients who currently lack access to basic primary care, both through new health center sites and the expansion of services at existing sites. The Senate bill also contains a modest base grant adjustment of 1.7% to help health centers keep up with the growing costs of providing medical care.
Protect Community Health Centers:
Take every opportunity to let Congress and the White House know, loud and clear, that cuts to the community health center program or Medicaid funding will impact a critical link in the health care delivery system! Health centers generate $24 billion annually in savings to the health care system and provide economic benefits to the rural and urban communities where they are located.
How can you help:
- Tell your members of Congress what your health center means to your community. Here is contact information to Oregon's Senators and Representatives.
- Keep up to date on the most recent alerts regarding CHC funding, by visiting this link.
- Bring the health center conversation outside of the health center and get your community involved. Ask them to sign-up to be a Health Center Advocate.
Federal Affordable Care Act
Great news in the summer of 2012: The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act as consitutional. The court did place some restrictions on the federal government’s powers regarding Medicaid expansion within the states. According to the ruling, "the court today limits the financial pressure the secretary may apply to induce states to accept the terms of the Medicaid expansion.” In our own progressive state of Oregon, it’s unlikely that this portion of the ruling will affect us. We do expect the state to expand Medicaid as required by the ACA.
Community health centers are at the forefront of the ACA, through the establishment of an $11 billion Trust Fund for CHC growth over five years. Additionally, to address the critical shortage of health care providers, the National Health Services Corps will receive $1.5 billion over five years.
Some other significant provisions in health reform that impact community health centers are:
- Medicaid expansion to 133% FPL in 2014
- Starting in 2014, requirement that health centers receive no less than their Medicaid PPS rate from private insurers offering plans through the new health insurance exchanges will go into effect.
- The elimination of the outdated Medicare payment cap
- Acknowledgement of the growing role of health centers in teaching the next generation of primary care providers by authorizing and funding new programs for health center-based residencies.
- Medical Home Demonstration Projects
- Permanent CHC Reauthorization
Affordable Care Act
National Associaiton of Community Health Centers:
Kaiser Family Foundation
http://healthreform.kff.org/the-animation.aspx - An easy, animated explanation of health reform