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NPR Health

A Crisis In Community Health

A couple waits for an appointment at the Community Health Center of Northeast Wetzel County in Burton, West Virginia.
A couple waits for an appointment at the Community Health Center of Northeast Wetzel County in Burton, West Virginia.

With guest host John Donvan.

For several months, the Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was in limbo. Its budget expired and Congress took no action to reauthorize it. Then, relief came as part of the bill that ended the government shutdown last week.

But the future of another vital health service remains uncertain. The more than 10,000 community health centers that treat low-income Americans have not seen a funding reauthorization.

The centers, funded by the Affordable Care Act, retain bipartisan support, The Hill quotes Republican Senator Tom Cole saying “I certainly didn’t support Obamacare but I think one of the good provisions was the expansion of the community health centers … I think they’re a wonderful model. They’re a much cheaper way to deliver care to people that really need it. So, again, I think there is a commitment there to find a solution.”

What will become of the centers where an estimated one in 13 Americans gets care?

GUESTS

James Macrae, Associate Administrator, Bureau of Primary Health Care,

Health Resources and Services Administration,

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Leighton Ku, Professor and Director of the Center for Health Policy Research, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University

Dan Hawkins, Senior VP of Public Policy & Research,

National Association of Community Health Centers

Kim Wagenaar, Chief Executive Officer, Cabarrus Rowan Community Health Centers

For more, visit https://the1a.org.

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