Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on Wednesday issued the following statement on community health center funding in Vermont. Sanders over the years has been a major advocate for the community health center model.
Senator Sanders: “I am deeply disturbed that, three and a half months after the beginning of the new fiscal year, the Republican leadership in Congress has not reauthorized funding for the community health center program. At a time when 27 million Americans receive their primary health care, dental care, mental health counseling and low-cost prescription drugs at community health centers, this delay in funding is impacting every state in the country. It is especially important in Vermont where one out of four Vermonters rely on community health centers for their primary health care. The time is long overdue for the Republican leadership to put bi-partisan legislation on the floor to reauthorize this vitally important program.
“If we do not act soon, 70 percent of community health center funding will be cut, up to nine Vermont health centers could be forced to close their doors and others could cut critical services like dental care or treatment for Vermonters struggling with opioid addiction. Further, 1,605 jobs could be lost, and 172,000 patients will be in danger of losing access to their health care. Amidst the crisis in primary health care, community health centers must be fully funded without offsets.”
Source: Sanders 1.17.2018