Health Center Funding Cliff Will Affect Care for Millions
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Millions of patients could be shut out of care if federal funding to support America's Health Centers expires after September 2015. If federal lawmakers do not act to fix this funding cliff, and if more states do not expand Medicaid, the number of patients cared for at Health Centers across the country could fall more than 25% (7 million) by 2020. These findings are revealed in research from the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University.
America's Health Centers now serve more than 22 million people nationwide, and Michigan Health Centers are health care homes for over 600,000 Michiganders. The Affordable Care Act invested $11 billion in funding to expand the reach of Health Centers over five years (2011-2015) so they could effectively cover the surge in demand for primary care. However, that funding is scheduled to end at a time when 62 million Americans still do not have access to a primary care provider. The report also notes that the demand for care is expected to rise by about 17% in the coming years.
The report comes as Health Center advocates around the country and here in Michigan are petitioning lawmakers to act now to fix the Health Center funding cliff, and are gathering support from local elected and civic leaders in their communities. The “Access is the Answer” campaign is powered by Health Center doctors, nurses, patients, board members, and local leaders who are concerned about the impact of the funding cliff on access to care in their communities.
Read more from the National Association of Community Health Centers.