WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen joined a bipartisan group of their colleagues in cosponsoring legislation to extend critical funding for the Community Health Centers Fund, which will otherwise run out of money on Nov. 21.
The senators also joined 25 of their colleagues in sending a letter to Senate leadership urging them to pass this bipartisan legislation immediately before countless Granite Staters and Americans are left without access to vital health care services.
“Community health centers provide thousands of Granite Staters with the care that they need at an affordable price,” said Hassan. “I am proud to cosponsor this bipartisan bill to extend funding for community health centers, and I join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in calling on Senate leadership to bring this bill up for a vote without delay.”
“Community health centers play a critical role in delivering essential and affordable health-care services to thousands of Granite Staters, especially those living in rural communities,” said Shaheen. “The CHIME Act is common-sense legislation that would help ensure that community health centers will continue to receive the funding they need to care for Granite Staters and Americans across the country. I urge Leader McConnell to hold a vote on this important bill as soon as possible and help preserve Americans’ access to health care.”
In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the senators called on the two leaders to immediately pass the bipartisan Community Health Investment, Modernization, and Excellence (CHIME) Act of 2019, which Sens. Hassan and Shaheen cosponsored, that would reauthorize the Community Health Center Fund and the National Health Service Corps for five years.
The letter notes, “If the (Community Health Center Fund) expires, community health centers will lose 70 percent of their federal grant funding. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, this would cause an estimated 2,400 site closures, 47,000 lost jobs, and threaten the health care of approximately 9 million Americans.”
Ensuring that all Granite Staters have quality, affordable health care is a top priority for Hassan and Shaheen, and they have long recognized the importance of community health centers to those efforts.
The senators have fought to ensure that community health centers have the funding and support necessary for their success, and continue to stand up against any efforts that sabotage the health-care system or cut funding for programs such as Medicaid.
This summer, Hassan visited community health centers to hear directly from patients and providers about the vital role that they plan in New Hampshire.