The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has announced it will send a bill to the House floor that includes $1.3 billion in cuts to Health Center funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. A vote on the bill is scheduled for next week.
We need every Health Center advocate to call AND email their U.S. Representative and ask him/her to oppose cuts to the Health Centers Program and to advocate for level funding of the Program at $2.19 billion for the remainder of fiscal year 2011.
What will happen if the funding cut is approved?
Reduced funding will have immediate and devastating impacts on Health Centers across the county and the patients and communities they serve.
- Health Centers overall will lose the capacity to serve 11 million patients.
- Within months, 127 new Health Centers that have opened in the last 1 ½ years under Recovery Act or stimulus funding will have to close their doors.
- Over 3.3 million patients who have received access to care in the last 1 ½ years under the Recovery Act or stimulus New Access Point and Increased Demand for Services funding will lose access to care within months.
- It will halt the expansion of the cost-effective, high quality and patient-directed Health Center model of care.
- Pregnant women, children, those without health insurance due to the recession and recent unemployment, and people with HIV/AIDS, to name a few, will literally be left with nowhere to turn.
- Health Centers will be forced to lay off thousands of employees in the rural and urban underserved communities where they are located.
- This proposed cut comes at a time when states have to cut $89 million in financial support to Health Centers due to their budgetary crises.
What can you do to help stop the cut?
1. Call your U.S. Representative directly by dialing the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 1-202-224-3121 and ask your Representative to oppose cuts to the Health Centers Program and keep level funding of $2.19 billion in fiscal year 2011.
2. Send an email message to your U.S. Representative asking him/her to oppose cuts to the Health Centers Program and to keep level funding of $2.19 billion in fiscal year 2011. Click here to access NACHC’s advocacy center to send your email.
3. Ask your family, friends, and colleagues to call and email their U.S. Representative to oppose Health Center funding cuts. Please forward this article to them.
4. If you have a Facebook page or Twitter account, post information about the potential funding cut and encourage your friends and followers to take action.
5. Email email@example.com to let NACHC know you called and emailed your U.S. Representative.
6. Participate in NACHC’s TeleTown Hall Meeting on February 14 at 1:30 pm ET to get an update on the funding cut. Joining this call is free and NACHC will call you. Click here to enter your contact information in NACHC’s online grassroots action center under the “TeleTown Hall Phone Number” information field.