After the U.S. House and Senate passed alternate versions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill (otherwise known as the economic stimulus package), a group of conferees from the two chambers met to reconcile the differences between the two versions. The economic stimulus package that emerged from conference committee negotiations totaled $789 billion, with an estimated $7 billion for Michigan according to the Associated Press.
The final version of the stimulus package contains three major victories totaling $2 Billion in funding for Health Centers.
Specifically this funding is broken down to include:
– $1.5 Billion for Health Center infrastructure; including construction, renovation, equipment and acquisition of health IT systems.
– $500 Million for Health Center operations; including new sites, increased services and supplemental payments to existing centers to accommodate a spike in uninsured patients.
– $500 Million for primary care workforce; including $300 million for National Health Service Corps and $200 million for health professions training.
At this time, we expect the House will hold a final vote on stimulus Friday and the Senate to follow shortly after.
While there are still several steps to be taken and many details to be hashed out before this compromised version of the stimulus package will become final, the inclusion of this funding should be considered a tremendous victory for health centers!