On Sunday, March 3, Congress released legislative text for a six-bill, $435 billion package. The tentative plan is for the House to hold a vote on Wednesday on this minibus funding deal before sending the bill to the Senate side. This Bicameral Public Health Program Funding Agreement is a step in the right direction because increased funding investments for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) are a vital investment in reducing the number of health professional shortage areas in this country.

Mandatory Funding for Health Extender Programs Compared to Previous Years

  • The National Health Service Corps: an increase over the FY15-23 annual level of $310 million.
  • Community Health Centers: an increase over the FY19-23 annual level of $4.0 billion.
  • The Teaching Health Center Program: THCGME – an increase over the FY18-23 annual level of $126.5 million.

ACU Applauds Congress But More Work Lies Ahead

The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) is grateful for the bipartisan support in both chambers and overall increase to mandatory NHSC funding. However, the tentative Bicameral Public Health Program Funding Agreement is not the end of this discussion. As we and our partners at Advocates for Community Health and the American Association of Teaching Health Centers recently highlighted in our virtual press briefing, there remains a massive gap in funding to fully address the complete health professional shortage needs across this nation and support the recruitment and retention of Corps participants at health centers. To further address this need, ACU looks forward to working with Congress in the months ahead to achieve a longer-term solution and investment.

What Does This Mean for Advocates?

We now have more time to warn leadership staff about the consequences of failing to deliver the NHSC funding we need to care for patients in medically underserved communities across this country. Thank you for your support and advocacy so far, and please stay tuned for further updates, and please encourage your colleagues to become ACU Advocates as well!

Jordan Marshall, Your ACU Advocacy Contact

Jordan Marshall, Deputy Director of Policy & AdvocacyJordan Marshall is leading ACU’s grassroots advocacy to secure long-term funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). Contact Jordan with any questions regarding policy analysis or if ACU can be of assistance with your own organizational or individual advocacy.