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Hundreds of Thousands of Texans Could Lose Health Care if Congress Fails to Act by September 30

Community Health Center Fund Set to Expire

Austin,Texas (PR MediaRelease) September 25, 2017

Texas Association of Community Health Centers Executive Director José E. Camacho issued the following statement –

“On September 30 the Community Health Center Fund will expire unless Congress takes action to renew it. The $3.6 billion annual fund provides Community Health Centers with the critical resources to care for uninsured patients, as well as maintain essential infrastructure for primary care services across the country. In Texas, health centers serve more than 1.3 million patients annually, and the loss of the health center fund would mean a more than $150 million cut to Texas health centers.

“Health centers provide community centered care. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey health centers in the Gulf Coast area, across Texas, and across the country have been on the front lines of disaster response and the rebuilding effort. Within days of the storm health centers deployed mobile clinics to bring medical care to impacted neighborhoods and worked with cities and counties to provide medical care in shelters and assist with evacuations. Now as cities and towns begin the long road to recovery and rebuilding, health centers are there to serve the long term health needs of patients.

“Texans rely on health centers to provide low cost primary medical and dental care, chronic disease management, patient education, and other services. Health centers are essential healthcare providers for the uninsured – keeping millions of uninsured Texans out of expensive emergency rooms. With the high number of uninsured Texans, the impacts of this funding loss could be profound.

“Currently eight Texas members of Congress – a mix of Republicans and Democrats – have cosponsored the Community Health Improvement, Modernization, and Excellence Act of 2017 (CHIME) Act—that would extend health center funding for five years. However, as the deadline nears, the outcome is far from certain.

“Inaction from Congress could set in motion a ripple effect across Texas that could eventually lead to as many as half a million patients losing access to the quality primary care on which they rely. We are calling on Congress to take action now. Texas has already weathered one major disaster this season, adding to it by missing this critical deadline could have long term impacts that will make recovery much more difficult.”

Formed in 1983, the Texas Association of Community Health Centers, Inc. (TACHC) is a private, non-profit membership association that represents Texas safety-net health care providers. TACHC is the federally designated primary care association for the state and is the link between federal, state and local entities providing health care for Texas’ most vulnerable populations.
TACHC members include community health centers, federally-designated migrant, public housing and homeless health care centers, health center networks and other providers who strive to meet the health care needs of the uninsured and underserved. Visit www.tachc.org to learn more.

Mimi Garcia
Texas Association of Community Health Centers
Director of Policy and External Communications
512-814-9347 (Cell) or 512-329-5959 ext. 1130
mgarcia@tachc.org
Brom Hoban
Texas Association of Community Health Centers
Communications Director
512-799-1869 (Cell) or 512-329-5959 ext.1140
bhoban@tachc.org
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