This Week in CHCACTion
January 2, 2018
This Week in CHCACTivities
As many of you know, just under two weeks ago, Congress passed a short-term budget (“Continuing Resolution” or “CR”) that funds the federal government through January 19th. This CR was necessary to avoid a government shut-down and also provides specific short-term funding for Community Health Centers ($550 million) – essentially providing a temporary extension of the Health Center Trust Fund, and preventing health centers from going over the “Funding Cliff.” The CR also funds the National Health Service Corps ($65 million) and Teaching Health Centers ($15 million), and provides limited funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP, called “HUSKY B” in Connecticut).
What does this mean?
- Health centers with January, February and March “start dates” will have funding through March. This gives Congress a bit of time to come up with a longer-term solution to extending the Trust Fund and continuing needed funding.
- Connecticut’s HUSKY B program has reopened for applications for new enrollees. Additionally, the state Department of Social Services now plans to continue HUSKY B through February 28th (instead of January 31st, as reported a few weeks ago).
Congress must come in again before January 19th to pass either a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year or another short-term CR. Our goal – and the goal of health center advocates, patients and champions around the country – is to secure a long-term resolution to the Health Center Funding Cliff, to ensure health centers can continue to provide high-quality, comprehensive, integrated health care to all in need.
Many have also raised questions about the tax reform package passed by Congress a few weeks ago, particularly the repeal of the requirement that all individuals have health insurance or pay a fine (the “individual mandate”). Please note that the individual mandate is repealed for 2019 and forward – NOT for 2018. For this year, Americans are still required to have health insurance.
Thanks to all of you who worked hard to help enroll people into health insurance this year through Access Health CT and HUSKY! And, of course, to those of you who advocated for health centers on your local level, or with state and federal policymakers.
Best wishes for a peaceful, healthy 2018 from all of us here at CHCACT.
This Week in Social Media
This Week in Funding Opportunities
This Week in Health Policy News
Here is a sampling of health policy news from around the state. If you see something in your local newspaper that you would like featured here in future weeks, please contact Deb Polun at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out all the Health Policy News from the past month here!
1.2.18 CT Health Foundation Blog — Remembering Katrina Clark
12.31.17 Politico — A Tarnished Hospital Tries to Win Back Trust (feat. Fair Haven Community Health Center)
12.28.17 New Haven Register — New Haven Service Memorializes 13 Lost to Homelessness in 2017 (feat. CS-Hill)
12.27.17 CT NewsJunkie — CT Braces for Federal Health Care Cuts (feat. CHCACT)
12.27.17 CT Mirror — An Unusual Collaboration Fighting the Scourge of Hepatitis C (feat. CHS, Charter Oak)
12.27.17 CT Mirror — Congress’s Inaction Threatening Community Health Center Funding
12.27.17 Register-Citizen — “Tie One On” Helps Keep People Warm (feat. CHWC-Greater Torrington)
12.29.17 CT NewsJunkie — House, Senate to Convene to Tackle Medicare Savings Program
12.27.17 CT NewsJunkie — Op-Ed: Why Health Care Innovations Don’t Travel Well
12.27.17 NY Times — Years of Attack Leave Obamacare a More Government-Focused Health Law
1.2.18 Governing — STD Rates Reach Record High in America
12.29.17 CT Mirror — CT Lawmakers Vote Against Funding Bill They Say Falls Short