1. Secure Long-Term Funding for Health Center Program: For the first time in recent history, federal health center funding for the PCA and CHCs was not re-authorized before its deadline, at which point the program and its future were cast into a period of uncertainty. That uncertainty created needless paralysis in terms of long-range planning, staff recruitment and expansion of key services such as treatment for opioid addiction. We urge Congress to invest in long term funding of the Health Center Program so that future uncertainty can be avoided and the significant investments that have already been made in the Community Health Center Program can be further leveraged to bring health care to underserved areas in Maine and across the country.
  2. Protect the Medicaid Program by Monitoring and Addressing Proposed Changes, Such as Waivers: State Medicaid Programs are vital to the sustainability of Community Health Centers. When states request flexibility by limiting coverage, they threaten the viability of Medicaid and put significant financial pressure on CHCs, which already operate on thin margins. We urge HRSA, the Administration and Congress to work with the CHCs and PCAs to avoid these substantial changes to the program at all costs, and to track and monitor how changes to Medicaid impact health outcomes if such changes are allowed by CMS.
  3. Maintain Support for the 340B Drug Discount Program: The 340B Drug Discount Program provides critical support to Health Center patients who need assistance to afford their prescriptions. It also serves as an important source of revenue for CHCs, enabling them to maintain access to comprehensive, high quality health care services for the medically underserved. Any efforts to change this program, or to allow mergers and acquisitions that would undermine this program, should be considered very carefully and must involve significant public input as to how such changes would impact patient care.