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Bilirakis-Green Bill: Health Center Funding

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Keep Health Centers Open

Dear [Decision Maker],

We want to thank the Subcommittee for your continued support and recognition of healthcenters as a longstanding bipartisan solution to the primary care access problems facing this country.

During the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Appropriations process, we respectfully request that the Subcommittee continue to recognize Community Health Centers as providers of high quality, cost effective primary care, and that you work to ensure the continuation of the innovative, high-value health center model of care within the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, andEducation, and Related Agencies legislation for FY2019.

Since the first health centers opened their doors more than fifty years ago, health centers have proven to be a worthwhile investment, providing high-quality and affordable primary care, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision and a variety of complementary services to America's most vulnerable patients and medically-underserved communities.

Today, thanks to longstanding bipartisan support in Congress, well over 1,400 health center organizations serve more than 10,400 urban and rural communities nationwide. Health centers are the health care home for over 27 million patients,
including 8 million children and over 330,000 veterans. Health centers employ nearly 208,000 people, and generate billions of dollars in economic impact for communities and overall cost-savings for the health care system.

The demand for health center services, especially behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment, has grown in recent years. Combined with the investments made on a bipartisan basis through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, annual appropriations for the Health Centers Program are critical to the success of health centers nationwide as they meet growing demand for affordable healthcare and respond to the changing needs of their communities - whether helping fight outbreaks of flu and Zika, dispensing care in areas impacted by natural disasters, or by providing treatment for opioid addiction.

As Congress works to improve access to mental health and substance use disorder treatment services, reduce health care expenditures, and promote patient-centered solutions to our health care challenges, we urge the Subcommittee to continue supporting health centers, which have a proven
track record of success.

Thank you for your continued support of the vital role health centers play in
preserving and expanding access to care in the communities they serve. We ask that as you consider the Subcommittee's budget priorities, that you support this proven and cost-effective model of care at the levels outlined in the Bipartisan Budget Act.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]