AAPCHO Responds to House Vote on Community Health Center Funding
November 6, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Despite Extending Health Center and Children’s Health Insurance Program Funding, Bill Does so at Expense of Health Equity
WASHINGTON – The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) today released the following statement in response to the recent House vote to extend funding for community health centers and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The bill extends health center funding by two years and CHIP funding by five years, but includes harmful ways to pay for the bill that strip funding from vital public health services essential to Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AA&NHPI) and other medically underserved communities.
“While we are pleased that the House recognizes the importance of extending this critical source of funding for community health centers and CHIP, we are disappointed that they chose to do so at the expense of many of the vulnerable communities we serve,” said Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of AAPCHO. “We urge the Senate to quickly reach an agreement to fund health centers and CHIP, without threatening access to key services for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders and other communities of color. And for Congress to agree on a bipartisan long-term solution to fix the health center funding cliff, while ensuring all communities have access to the care they need.”
The House legislation also extends funding for workforce programs including the National Health Service Corps and Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education Program. The bill proposes to pay for the legislation by taking from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which pays for critical Centers for Disease Control and Prevention programs like the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program, by shortening the grace period for someone in the state health insurance marketplaces to make a payment, and by tightening state restrictions for pregnant women and children receiving Medicaid and/or CHIP.
AAPCHO believes that funding health centers should not be pitted against other key programs that low-income and underserved communities of color need—and is committed to working with Congress and partners on policies and solutions that improve the health status and access of AA&NHPIs and all communities.
AAPCHO is a national association of community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. For more information on AAPCHO, please visit www.aapcho.org.