The clock is ticking: just 143 days remain until ALL funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) expires. By that time, the one-time allotment of $800 million provided for the NHSC in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will be exhausted as well. Furthermore, reduced ARPA funds in FY23 already resulted in a decrease of nearly $220 million compared to FY22. If Congress only authorizes flat funding for the NHSC in FY24, the Corps will face its second consecutive year of decreased funding, reducing the number of NHSC clinicians providing patients in medically underserved areas with vital care.
But there is hope. House Representative Lisa Blunt-Rochester (D-DE) has stepped up by introducing H.R. 3080, the Health Center Service Expansion and Provider Shortage Reduction Act, to fill the void left from the depleted ARPA funds. This bill would authorize approximately $480 million in further funding for the NHSC over the next five years.
We need your help to save the NHSC: to build on bipartisan legislation in the Senate, we need a strong showing of support for this critical House bill in the House by recruiting enough co-sponsors to send a powerful message about the need for increased funding for the NHSC and health centers.
Take Action: Email Your Representative in a Minute or Less and Ask Them to Support H.R. 3080
- Please contact your Representative NOW using our easy email form. It takes less than a minute, and all you have to do is enter your information and hit Send.
Alternatively, you can call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be connected directly with your Representative’s offices using our handy talking points below.
Suggested Talking Points
“Thank you for your bipartisan efforts to alleviate health workforce shortages in underserved areas during and after the public health emergency. I ask that you continue to build upon these efforts by co-sponsoring Congresswoman Lisa Blunt-Rochester’s (D-DE) bill, H.R. 3080. The Health Center Service Expansion and Provider Shortage Reduction Act would authorize approximately $480 million in additional mandatory funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) over the next five years.
Other provisions within H.R. 3080 also further expand mental and primary health care by: 1) Providing an annual $250 million investment to support increased hours of operations, including extended or weekend hours. This will increase access for those unable to take off work, who work nontraditional hours, and live in rural or remote areas. 2) Providing an annual $700 million investment to implement a new requirement for all health centers to provide mental health and substance use disorder services. 3) Providing $150 million in New Access Point Funding targeted to areas of highest need. The last time HRSA awarded funding for new access points, HRSA was only able to fund 75 out of more than 550 applications.
Community health centers are poised to serve millions of additional patients, but this is dependent on critical investments and expansion of NHSC funding to both stabilize and grow the Corps’ capacity and field strength of clinicians. Increased and long-term funding for loan repayment programs within NHSC is vital for sustaining effective recruitment and retention strategies within community health centers that cannot afford to take a step backwards and further batter an already weary workforce.
In closing, please commit to co-sponsoring the Blunt Rochester bill for increased funding of the NHSC and health centers by emailing Amber Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Now is a critical time to support the effort to preserve and extend funding for the National Health Service Corps (NHSC)! Read our recent white paper to learn what’s at stake and why Congress must act to ensure sustainable funding. We need your voice to urge legislators to support bipartisan initiatives to renew the NHSC’s funding. Become an ACU advocate today, keep up-to-date on what’s happening, take action, and ask your friends and colleagues to join us as well!
Jordan Marshall, Your ACU Advocacy Contact
Jordan 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.