Joint letter calling on Congressional leadership to reauthorize vital health programs

NCHC Writer
Default Image
This letter was originally organized and sent by American Academy of Family Physicians. To see the PDF version with a complete list of co-signers, click here.

Dear Speaker Ryan, Minority Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer:

On January 22, 2018, the United States Congress once again passed a short-term measure to maintain funding for the federal government, this time through February 8, 2018. While it contained a critical extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, it failed to reauthorize and fund several other key expired health care programs and policies, each of which are vital to our health care system.

This lapse in authorization and funding, coupled with the continuous enactment of short-term patches, has put in jeopardy health care services for seniors on Medicare and patients in underserved communities, resources for health care providers in rural communities, and programs aimed at training primary care physicians.

Among the programs that have been allowed to lapse or are awaiting reauthorization and funding are:

  • Community Health Center Fund
  • Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payment funding
  • Medicare Therapy Cap Extension
  • Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program
  • Maternal Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program
  • National Health Service Corps
  • Physician Fee Schedule GPCI Parity Policy

The undersigned organizations call on you, as leaders of the United States House of Representatives and Senate, to ensure the inclusion of provisions that will reauthorize and fund these important programs in any government funding legislation approved on or before February 8, 2018.

These programs and policies enjoy strong bipartisan support and many have been approved for reauthorization and funding by the appropriate committees of jurisdiction, during the current Congress. The continued lack of predictable funding for these programs and policies stands to negatively impact the lives of millions of people and communities all across the nation.

We urge you to prioritize the continuation of these programs and policies and take the appropriate steps to ensure that each are reauthorized and funded as part of the next government funding bill.