More than 40 years ago, Congress began funding community health centers in an effort to extend basic care to Americans who lacked the means to get adequate care.
Since then, health centers have efficiently and economically delivered care that has provided the additional benefit of lower emergency room use, reduced hospital admissions, and less need for specialty care. Because the costs to deliver those services typically shift to deeper pockets — the insured populace, and government — health center services have saved billions for taxpayers and private insurance programs.
In 2008, Congress unanimously reauthorized the Federal Health Centers Program through 2012. The bill, entitled the Health Care Safety Net Act of 2008, affirms the core elements of the community health center model of care, and calls for increase annual funding for Health Centers in line with the ACCESS For All America Initiative. The bill also reauthorizes the National Health Service Corps and other crucial public health programs through 2012.
This reauthorization law is a major stamp of approval for the Health Centers program, and signals Congressional intent to continue building on the 40-year success story that is the Health Center Movement. Please see the documents below for more information.
HCSNA One-Page Summary
HCSNA of 2008 - Final Legislative Text