Senators warn of funding cuts to health centers

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act may have failed in congress, but while that debate was going on, the funding for community health centers was quietly disappearing.

Connecticut’s U.S. Senators came to the Fair Haven Health Center Friday morning to draw attention to this next crisis. While everyone has been talking about Graham-Cassidy, the latest GOP attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, the deadline to extend funding for community health centers is September 30th. Connecticut gets about $38 million of that funding, which helps 90,000 patients get health care in their neighborhoods.

Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are both urging congressional leaders to restore that funding, but they say are not getting very far.

“The Republican congress says that they’ll get to it later this year or sometime next year, but that uncertainty is ultimately going to ruin families in this state who rely on these centers,” Murphy said.

The Fair Haven Health Center alone could lose almost $3 million, if the federal funding is not restored. That is 10% of the centers of the center’s budget.

Not only do 90,000 people depend on these centers for health care, but losing the funding could cost more than 500 employees their jobs.

Connecticut’s senators say they will try to get the funding restored next week. They say they did not get to it before the deadline because of all the efforts to repeal Obamacare. Senator Blumenthal calls that oversight by Republicans who control congress “political malpractice.”

 

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