Kaptur: Protect Ohioans health care
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), today cosponsored the Community Health Investment, Modernization and Excellence (CHIME) Act of 2017. This bipartisan legislation extends the Community Health Centers Fund (CHCF) for five years, which supports Community Health Centers across the country and increases funds to ensure responsiveness to demand for care. The current funding expired on September 30, 2017.
“Just in Northern Ohio, Community Health Centers serve more than 55,000 patients. Congress must ensure that Ohioans continue to receive care,” said Kaptur. “This bill provides a responsible and steady stream of federal funding to make sure these health care centers keep their doors open for the people of Ohio.”
620,000 Ohioans now use Community Health Centers that rely on these funds. Additionally, Ohio’s community health centers employ 259 physicians, 253 nurse practitioners and physicians assistants, 101 dentists, 522 nurses and over 3,800 total staff positions in areas where qualified professionals are in short supply. The overall economic impact of the CHC system is estimated to be over $230 million in the state of Ohio. More on specifics on how community health centers help Ohio’s Ninth district here.
The bill was introduced by Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21), David Young (R-IA-03), Joe Courtney (D-CT-02), and Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-01) and has more than 175 cosponsors.
About Community Health Centers:
CHCs provide primary care to more than 26 million Americans in every state and territory. These centers provide access to high-quality primary and preventive care while integrating behavioral health, dental, substance abuse and other critical services for their patients. Health Centers are a cost-effective provider of care, having been proven to save 24% in total Medicaid spending when compared to other providers. Total funding for the Health Centers program currently stands at $5.1 billion annually. Of this total, $3.6 billion comes from the Community Health Centers Fund (CHCF), a dedicated source of funding that was extended for two years in 2015.
According to estimates from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, letting this funding lapse puts Americans at risk of losing care. Cuts would result in over 9 million patients losing access to care, cost 50,000 jobs in economically hard-hit communities across the nation, and force 2,800 health center locations to shut their doors.