Community Health Centers Receive Boost in Funding

Community Health Centers Receive Boost in Funding

Community health centers in Missouri and across the nation are receiving a boost in funding as a result of Congress passing a bipartisan spending package known as House Resolution 4366. This package includes six Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bills that provide continued funding for various programs and help avoid a partial government shutdown. These health centers play a crucial role in providing health-care access to 31 million Americans, especially in rural areas.

According to Joe Dunn, senior vice president for public policy and advocacy with the National Association of Community Health Centers, approximately one in 11 Americans receives their care from community health centers. Dunn emphasized the importance of better access to primary care for the over 100 million Americans who need it. By incentivizing people to seek primary care, hospitalizations and complications from chronic conditions can be reduced through preventive screening and care, leading to long-term cost savings.

In addition to the increased annual funding of $4.4 billion for health centers, the spending bill also extends and enhances key primary-care workforce programs like the National Health Service Corps and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program. Dunn highlighted the impact on rural areas where hospital closures and limited primary-care options are prevalent, emphasizing that community health centers offer comprehensive care services including primary care, behavioral health, and dental care to underserved patients across the nation, especially in rural and frontier areas.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the increase in funding for community health centers will result in a reduction of federal spending on public health insurance programs by over $700 million. This funding boost will enable community health centers to continue their vital role in providing accessible and quality healthcare to millions of Americans.

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