Rep. Capuano Urges Additional Funding for Community Health Centers

March 19, 2001 -- Rep. Michael Capuano introduced the bipartisan "Resolution to Expand Access to Community Health Centers" (REACH), H. Res. 87. This measure calls for the doubling of funding for the consolidated health centers program by 2005. The additional funds would double access to comprehensive health care for the millions of Americans who are currently without health insurance. 60 members of Congress joined Rep. Capuano in sponsoring this initiative.

"Community health centers have been providing cost effective and quality health care for over 30 years. The President claims he will double the number of people served at these facilities over the next five years. This is a commendable goal, but to accomplish it, we must also double the money provided to community health centers. They will not be able to increase the services offered without an increase in funding," Rep. Capuano stated.

Community health centers provide health care services to uninsured and low-income individuals in medically underserved areas. They are vital to the fabric of health care in our country. Last year, more than 1,000 health centers across the country provided service to nearly 12 million people.

"Community health centers provide comprehensive primary and preventive care to uninsured individuals for less that a dollar a day. Current resources only allow health centers to serve a little over 10% of our nation's uninsured population. We can do better than that," stated Rep. Mike Capuano.

Rep. Capuano, who founded and co-chairs the 87 member bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Community Health Centers, is working to expand congressional awareness of the role they play in providing care to underserved urban and rural areas nationwide. Rep. Mike Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) also serve as co-chairs.

The REACH Initiative was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.