The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) is pleased to endorse bipartisan legislation, the Community Health Improvement, Modernization, and Excellence (CHIME) Act, introduced yesterday by Senators Roy Blunt (R – MO) and Debbie Stabenow (D – MI). This critical bill would provide reliable and dependable funding for the nation’s more than 1,400 health centers, extending the Community Health Centers Fund (CHCF) for an additional five years and increasing funding steadily over time to $5.0 billion in 2024.
This effort is designed to prevent a lapse of the Community Health Centers Fund, which is currently set to expire on September 30, 2019. It would also extend funding for the National Health Service Corps for an additional five years, helping bolster the primary care workforce in underserved areas of the country. The legislation builds upon the significant bipartisan support for health centers in Congress that has led to targeted investments in health center model of care for over 50 years.
“This legislation has the potential to drastically improve the operation of our nation’s health centers, and ensure advanced care delivery for the patients and communities they serve,” said Tom Van Coverden, Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). “Health centers nationwide are already thinking about the impact of a potential lapse of the CHCF. The CHIME Act would equip health centers in the roughly 11,000 communities they serve with the predictability they need to continue delivering 21st century health care at an affordable price. By introducing the CHIME Act, Senators Blunt and Stabenow have once again shown themselves to be champions for America’s Health Centers and their 28 million patients. We thank them for their leadership, and are committed to working with Congress to ensure swift passage of the CHIME Act.”