On Dec. 11, House lawmakers passed H.R. 5378, the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, by a vote of 320 to 71. This legislation would fund the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) program over the next two years at $350 million annually, which is $40 million above current mandatory levels.

Other significant provisions to support health centers include funding Section 330 annually at $4.4 billion over the next two years, $400 million above current mandatory levels; and including a seventh year of funding through FY2030 for the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program.

Current Funding Deadlines

The latest, “laddered” Continuing Resolution (CR) extended mandatory funding for the NHSC, Section 330, and THCGME through Jan. 19, and extended appropriated funds for these same programs through Feb. 2, all at FY2023 (aka flat-lined) levels. Lawmakers must work within a short window before the January deadline because Members of Congress are only scheduled to be in session through the end of this week and won’t return from the holiday break until Jan. 8.

With little to no chance of reaching a deal on government funding before the December recess, Congress will have only 11 days in January to overcome months of ongoing challenges surrounding a final funding agreement. At this moment, the House and Senate continue to have very different targets for total FY2024 spending, with the Senate setting them at FY2023 levels, while the House sets them at FY2022 levels.

What’s Next for Advocacy?

Even as the short-term funding situation becomes less uncertain, ACU will continue urging Congress to renew and expand funding for the Corps. More specifically, ACU is working with House and Senate leadership to encourage action on the Bipartisan Primary Care and Health Workforce Act (S. 2840), which would include $950 million in annual NHSC funding for fiscal years 2024-2026. We need your help to make this happen. Stay tuned for further updates, become an ACU Advocate, and encourage all of your colleagues to do so 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.