"MEHOP urges Congress to extend health center funding" By Jessica B. Russell MEHOP Director of Employee and Public Affairs

   The staff, patients and board members of MEHOP are joining the call to urge lawmakers on Capitol Hill to extend funding for Community Health Centers and preserve affordable health care in the community. 
   The appeal to extend funding comes after months of living under a “funding cliff.”  
   Critical funding for health centers and other programs expired on Oct. 1, 2017. 
   Every health center, including MEHOP has had to make tough budget choices to ensure they can continue to provide care. 
   “This is not how a health system should run – particularly given that the Health Center program has served the nation so well in terms of saving lives and dollars,” said Celeste Harrison, CEO of MEHOP. 
   “We urge our leaders in Congress to act now and fix the funding cliff so that we can continue to provide affordable health care to people in need.”
   The call to fix the funding cliff comes as patients, doctors and staff at health centers face a ticking clock, with a substantial portion of federal funding only to last until next month. Health centers, which currently serve 27 million patients, are already enacting hiring freezes, cutting back key programs and services for patients, and facing site closures. 
   Not only will the funding cliff trigger job losses in the local economy, on a national scale it means the closure of 2,800 health center sites, loss of health care access for 9 million patients, and more than 50,000 job losses.
   Health center advocates organized a Day of Demonstration to call attention to the funding cliff on Tuesday, Feb. 6.
   They are also visiting Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers and urge them to pass legislation that will extend funding in the next Continuing Resolution. 
   To learn more about health centers, visit www.nachc.org. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at a #RedAlert4CHCs

Rate this article: 
No votes yet