Kaiser Health News: Congress’ Cold Shoulder Sends Shivers Through Community Health Centers

One community health center in New York has frozen hiring. Another in Missouri can’t get a bank loan to expand.

The nation’s 1,400 community health centers are carefully watching expenses in case the financial rescue they hope Congress delivers this week doesn’t arrive. With four days left in the government’s fiscal year, Congress has not voted on reauthorizing billions of dollars now going to community health centers and other health programs for the 2018 budget year that starts Sunday.

“The anxiety level is increasing on almost a daily basis,” said Dan Hawkins, senior vice president of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) in Washington, D.C. “There is broad support and agreement in Congress that it should get done, but we are working against a ticking clock and a crowded legislative calendar.”

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