Statement by National Coalition on Health Care President and CEO John Rother on the passage of a Continuing Resolution to reopen government and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program
“While NCHC is relieved by the six-year CHIP reauthorization and the reopening of most federal offices, the ongoing failure to extend other vital health programs is a breakdown in leadership across both parties. This inaction will harm patient outcomes and increase costs across the health system.
“The new Continuing Resolution left out vital funding for our nation’s primary care infrastructure and workforce programs, such as Community Health Centers, the National Health Service Corps, and Teaching Health Centers. It also left out important bipartisan reforms to Medicare addressing enrollment procedures, outpatient therapy caps, and chronic care. And because certain provisions of existing Medicare law expired on December 31st, rural hospitals, physicians, and nurse practitioners are already seeing Medicare reimbursement cuts.
“Each of these excluded provisions enjoys broad bipartisan, bicameral support. Community Health Center and workforce funding has actually passed the House as part of the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act. The Ways and Means Committee has already announced a bipartisan agreement on the expiring Medicare provisions – also known as “extenders.” The CHRONIC Care Act passed the Senate unanimously and many of its provisions have cleared House Committees. Whatever the differences over budgetary offsets, the failure to advance these policies is irresponsible governance on both sides of the aisle.
“NCHC is ready and willing to work together on innovative solutions to our health care affordability challenges. But if we are ever going to successfully address America’s rising costs of care, Congress and the administration must stop playing politics with our nation’s health.”