Newhouse Rallies Colleagues to Support Funding for Community Health Centers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) joined bipartisan and bicameral colleagues to rally at the U.S. Capitol with advocates from around the country in support of extending funding for Community Health Centers (CHCs). Community Health Center funding expired on September 30, 2017. Tonight, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a Continuing Resolution that includes two years of funding for CHCs.
I certainly want to thank my colleague Elise Stefanik from the State of New York for helping to put this together today as well my other colleagues, those that are here, and all of those who support the funding of Community Health Centers.
You know I come from the central part of the State of Washington – the real Washington. And just like everybody else, these Community Health Centers they provide critical health services.
Now get this: in Central Washington, almost three hundred thousand people depend on these Community Health Centers. You know what that is? That’s almost forty percent of my constituents. This is a big deal in our part of the country just like it is everywhere else.
But when I think about the need for these health centers and the funding that they so desperately need, I want to put it into personal perspective.
One of my constituents, a young lady – I say that very lovingly – by the name of Barbara Johnston, she realized that she was going blind. She suffers from macular degeneration, which some of you are familiar with. So she could no longer read the numbers on her prescription bottles to know when they’re expiring to see when they need refilling. She needed help. Especially because they were blood pressure medications. She didn’t have time to waste.
So who comes to the rescue? Yakima Neighborhood Health Services, which is a federally-funded Community Health Center. They connected Barbara with a care coordinator to help her with her vision problems to make sure that she had what she needed to manage her blood pressure to prevent a stroke.
So that’s just one story. We need to make sure that we can continue those success stories all around the country. This is why it is so critically important. This is not just some faceless federal bureaucracy. We’re talking about people’s lives here. Lots of people’s lives. So that’s why I thank all of you for being here this morning, showing your support, helping to urge Congress to do the right thing. And with that help, we will be successful. We will get long-term funding for Community Health Centers. Thank you very much.
Rep. Newhouse is a cosponsor of the CHIME Act -- bipartisan legislation to extend the Community Health Centers Fund for five years. This legislation has 218 bipartisan cosponsors. On Friday, Rep. Newhouse joined a group of 105 Republican House Members in a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, urging him to include Community Health Center funding in any legislation that will be passing Congress and sent to the President. Following this effort, it was announced that the government funding bill being considered in the House today will include a two-year extension of Community Health Center funding.
In November, Rep. Newhouse voted for passage of the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act, which would extend funding for the Community Health Center Fund (CHCF) for two additional years. This funding is used at federally qualified health centers, which provide an array of comprehensive health services. The CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act would also provide funding for Teaching Health Centers – three of which are in Central Washington – to train primary care doctors and retain them at community-based clinics in rural areas. The Senate has yet to take up this bill.