June 30 Capitol Hill Briefing Will Show Benefits of Expansion of Health Centers Through Health Reform

On Wednesday, June 30, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will sponsor a Capitol Hill briefing to present a new analysis by faculty of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, supported by the RCHN Community Health Foundation. The report indicates that the expansion of Community Health Centers through the Affordable Care Act will make a major contribution towards ensuring there will be improved primary health care access for the newly insured, and that it will lower long-term health care costs.

Among the findings are that the $11 billion investment in additional federal grants for non-profit Community Health Centers from 2011 to 2015 can lead to a doubling of the number of Americans who get their care at Community Health Centers to almost 40 million, two-thirds of the population living in current federally-designated medically underserved areas. In addition, it will reduce health care spending by an additional $70 billion, over and above the $24 billion per year in savings that existing health centers already achieve by reducing unnecessary emergency room visits and avoidable hospital-based care. Almost half of these savings accrue to federal and state Medicaid expenditures. Data will be presented indicating even greater savings by 2019.

The briefing will be held from 3-4 pm on June 30 in the Russell Senate Office Building, room 188.

For more information about Community Health Centers across the country, go to www.nachc.com. For information about Community Health Centers in Michigan, go to www.mpca.net.

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