January 26th, 2018
Rep. Grijalva Joins El Rio Community Health Center in Demanding Funding for Community Health Centers
TUCSON, AZ—Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva joined patients, doctors, and leaders from the El Rio Community Health Center to bring attention to congressional inaction on funding community health centers. Held at the El Rio Health Center, Rep. Grijalva and El Rio leaders highlighted the challenges that community health centers will face if funding is not immediately renewed.
“Community health centers are the backbone of our health care infrastructure and are on the front lines of treating our most vulnerable populations,” said Rep. Raul M. Grijalva. “If funding is not renewed, millions of people across the country—including thousands of Arizona residents—will lose access to important, lifesaving care. It’s time for my colleagues in Congress to join forces, stand up for working families, and renew this critical funding.”
Community health centers serve over 27 million people across the country. The Community Health Centers Fund expired on October 1, 2017 and is imperiling the ability of centers to hire new employees, engage in long-term planning, and provide adequate care.
“Community Health Centers have always garnered bipartisan support and been viewed as community-based solutions for access to health care,” said El Rio Community Health Center CEO Nancy Johnson. “Nationally, health centers are ranked first in overall performance out of all Department of Health & Human Services programs. Community Health Centers have an eleven to one return on investment, returning $11 for every $1 of federal funding. Not only are we a cost-effective and efficient health care system, our El Rio patients nearing 100,000 individuals in the community have access to 12 locations offering medical, dental and behavioral health care for the entire family.”
According to estimates by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, failure to reauthorize community health center funding could lead to the closure of approximately 2,800 centers, a loss of over 50,000 jobs, and more than 9 million people losing access to health care.