Medicare Access and CHIP
Funding Extended for Two Years
A few weeks ago, the US House of Representatives passed H.R.2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. This legislation extended funding for Community Health Centers (CHCs) for two years. Without an extension, CHCs would have faced a 70% cut.
But the good news is that on April 14, 2015, the U.S. Senate followed the House lead and voted overwhelmingly to pass H.R. 2. A steep reduction in CHC funding has been avoided for now.
Both Senators Menendez and Booker voted in favor along with all of the members of the House except for Congressman Garrett.
CHCs primarily serve extremely low- income patients and those on Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), including some supportive housing residents.
This bill, which will be signed into law by President Obama, includes $7.2 billion in mandatory funding for the Health Centers Program, as well as continued appropriations for the National Health Service Corp (NHSC) and Teaching Health Centers (THC). This extension ensures continued access to health services for those who so desperately need them.