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NACHC Statement in Response to House Energy and Commerce Committee Action on Health Center Infrastructure and Workforce Needs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Bethesda, MD – Last night, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released its Committee Prints of the Build Back Better Act. Importantly, the legislation included $10 billion for Community Health Center capital projects and $6.3 billion in primary care workforce funding.

“On behalf of the nearly 29 million patients served at Community Health Centers, I want to thank Chairman Frank Pallone and members of the Energy and Commerce Committee for including this necessary funding,” said Tom Van Coverden, President and CEO of NACHC.  “This will allow health centers to expand their facilities and workforce to ensure high-quality patient care into the future.”

According to a recent assessment by Capital Link, health centers will need $17.5 billion for improved facilities over the next five years to meet the projected number of patients. Nearly all (97%) health centers already have at least one capital project planned to build, expand, or renovate their facilities to take care of patients. The investment of $10 billion in the Build Back Better Act could be leveraged with other federal programs to meet the overall demand. This funding is needed to ensure meaningful access for the growing number of Medicare beneficiaries treated at health centers who would be eligible for dental, vision and hearing services into the future.

Expanding the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program and additional funding for the Nurse Corps will create additional opportunities for clinicians at health centers. A May 2021 study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) concluded that primary care is the only discipline of medicine where a greater supply is equated to improved population health, longer lives, and greater equity.

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Established in 1971, the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) serves as the national voice for America’s Health Centers and as an advocate for health care access for the medically underserved and uninsured.

 

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