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Congresswoman Claudia Tenney Calls on Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi to Take Immediate Action to Continue Funding for Community Health Centers

Funding for Community Health Centers Expires in September Unless Congress Takes Action

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New Hartford, NY, September 25, 2017 | comments
Today, Congresswoman Claudia Tenney (NY-22) is calling on Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi to take immediate action to extend funding for the Community Health Centers program before it is set to expire on September 30, 2017. Community Health Centers provide high-quality care to millions of Americans. Barring further action by Congress, Community Health Centers could experience a nearly 70 percent reduction in federal funding. These cuts in funding could lead to a closure of nearly 2,800 health centers, the loss of more than 50,000 jobs, and a sharp decrease in access to care.

“With the funding deadline fast approaching, we must prioritize the extension of the Community Health Centers Program,” said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. “In the 22nd District of New York, we have four federally-funded health centers that leverage more than $10 million in funding to serve a population of 150,000 patients across 23 delivery sites. I have personally visited these locations to see firsthand the vital services these organizations provide. The Family Health Network of Central New York, for example, has more than 10 delivery sites and provides everything from pediatric and women’s health services to dental care.”

“Family Health Network is deeply appreciative of Congresswoman Tenney’s continued support and advocacy for all Community Health Centers. If Congress doesn’t prioritize the extension of funding for these Community Health Centers it will not only be a humanitarian disaster, but a fiscal one as well. If patients don’t have adequate access to primary care in their communities, they turn to Hospital Emergency Rooms for routine care, or defer needed care until their health problems are more serious and more costly. That’s common sense, but research on the topic shows that it is a reality. Health Centers produce $24 Billion dollars in annual health system savings, treats patients for a fraction of the average cost of just one emergency room visit, and historically maintain patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent,” said Walter Priest, President and CEO of Family Health Network. “Health Centers also reach beyond the walls of conventional medicine to prevent illness and foster wellness, while addressing the factors that may cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, and homelessness. Family Health Network is an organization proudly dedicated to being actively involved in the Central New York community and an important part of its patients’ lives.”

In August, Rep. Tenney visited the Family Health Network of Central New York in Cortland where she was awarded the Health Center Supporter Award for her advocacy and support of federally funded health care centers.

Read the full text of the letter below.

September 22, 2017

The Honorable Paul D. Ryan
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Democratic Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
H-204, The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi,

I write today to express my commitment to working with you to ensure that our nation’s Community Health Centers receive an extension of critical funding, which is otherwise set to expire on September 30, 2017. This funding provides high-quality care to millions of Americans.

With the funding deadline fast approaching, we must prioritize the extension of the Community Health Centers Program. Barring further action, Community Health Centers may see an almost 70 percent reduction in federal funding. Such a dramatic funding cut could lead to a closure of around 2,800 health centers, the loss of more than 50,000 jobs, and a sharp decrease in access to care.

In the 22nd District of New York, we have four federally-funded health centers that leverage more than $10 million in funding to serve a population of 150,000 patients across 23 delivery sites. I have personally visited these locations to see firsthand the vital services these organizations provide. The Family Health Network of Central New York, for example, has more than 10 delivery sites and provides everything from pediatric and women’s health services to dental care.

As part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (P.L. 114-10), Congress sent a strong, bipartisan message by extending health center funding for two years. However, with this authorization set to expire at the end of the month, we must act swiftly to ensure there is no disruption in funding. In addition, I support a long-term extension of this critical funding to avoid these fiscal cliffs in the future, which is why I have cosponsored the Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellence Act (H.R. 3770) to extend funding for five years.

I appreciate your leadership on this issue and stand ready to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure health centers have the necessary resources to continue their vital work.

Sincerely,
CLAUDIA TENNEY
Member of Congress

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Tags: Health

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