Letter from the Health Center Advocacy Network

This letter was sent out following the passage of the House Health Care Bill:

Health care policy presents the gravest of challenges to our nation’s policy makers.  We recognize the weight of these decisions and acknowledge that there is a gulf dividing the opinions on both sides.  We know that both sides seek the same outcome – the best, most affordable and most accessible healthcare system in the world – but that the methods to achieve this goal differ greatly.

In the spirit of honest debate, we are compelled to raise concerns with the hope that during the legislative process, we can work with lawmakers to address potential shortfalls.  For example, we are concerned that the bill could adversely impact the 25 million low-income and underserved patients and communities served every day by the nation’s more 1,400 community health centers and 10,000 delivery sites in rural and urban communities.  The rollback of Medicaid mandated by this bill would jeopardize coverage for an estimated three million health center patients over the next several years. Longer-term, the bill’s cap on the federal share of Medicaid coverage would inevitably force a reduction of benefits such as critical substance use disorder treatment at a time when the nation faces an unprecedented opioid crisis, as well as reductions in eligibility criteria, and cuts to provider payments.

As the debate moves to the United States Senate, we urge Senators to focus on a clear goal: to improve the nation’s health care system so that care is more equitable, affordable, and accessible to every patient in this country who needs it. NACHC and our members stand ready to work tirelessly with any and all policy makers to move toward this goal.  We have had productive meetings with House Leadership on these issues and believe they are willing to address possible shortfalls in this legislation as the debate and deliberations continue.

Tom Van Coverden
President and CEO


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