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Sens. Frist, Daschle Urge Congressional Leaders to Secure Children’s Health, Community Health Center Programs

By Bill Frist, Tom Daschle

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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“We write to you as former Senate Majority Leaders – Republican and Democrat – and as health leaders at the Bipartisan Policy Center to urge your swift action to pass legislation to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Community Health Centers (CHCs) – two vital programs for millions of American families, which share long histories of bipartisan support.

As health leaders at the Bipartisan Policy Center to urge your swift action to pass legislation to reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Community Health Centers (CHCs).

“Since enactment of CHIP two decades ago, the rate of uninsured children has fallen to an all-time low of 4.5 percent. And, today, the program – through a productive federal-state partnership – covers 9 million children and pregnant women. Recently, 17 states and the District of Columbia have had to take redistribution grants from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a last resort to keep their programs going, and another nine states will require this assistance in the coming days and weeks. Some states are beginning to send warning letters to tens of thousands of residents to let them know they will soon run out of funds absent action by Congress.

“Meanwhile, CHCs serve more than 27 million patients in rural and urban communities, providing primary and preventive care services to the most vulnerable in our nation. CHCs rely upon the CHC Fund for 70 percent of their federal grant funding. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, the loss of this funding could result in the closing of nearly 3,000 health center sites, the loss of over 50,000 staff and clinician jobs, and the loss of access to care for as many as 9 million patients.”

KEYWORDS: BILL FRIST, TOM DASCHLE, CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM, COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS

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