On December 18, Congress passed a budget deal to fund the government through September 2016 which included funding for the Health Center Program. The bill can be viewed here; the provision for health centers can be found on pages 889-890.
The bill provides $1.491 billion in discretionary spending for for the Health Center Program. These funds combine with the H.R. 2-authorized $3.6 billion in mandatory funding for a total funding level of $5.1 billion for the Health Center Program in FY16.
Importantly, the deal specifies that no less than $150 million be spent on construction and capital improvements and no less than $200 million be spent on expansions of health center capacity,including new delivery sites and additional services like oral and behavioral health.
Oklahoman health centers served more than 176,000 patients in 2014 alone. With over 15% of Oklahomans without health insurance and 50% of Oklahoman children on Medicaid, our state needs continued support for safety-net providers who provide quality, community-based care.
We are especially grateful to Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), a longtime supporter of health centers and Chairman of the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee. We rely on bipartisan support to drive economic improvement and health outcomes across our state.