Shea-Porter Calls for Immediate Congressional Action on Expiring Health Care Programs, Hurricane Relief
WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) today called for immediate Congressional action to reauthorize expiring health care programs and provide disaster relief to those impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
“With five days remaining until the end of the fiscal year, it is irresponsible and unacceptable that House Republicans have failed to schedule votes to reauthorize expiring funding for the Medicaid Children’s Health Insurance Program and community health centers. Congress should also act immediately to help our fellow Americans in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands as they struggle with the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria,” said Shea-Porter.
Shea-Porter has repeatedly called for action to reauthorize the Medicaid Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is set to expire this Friday, September 30 without Congressional action. In New Hampshire, over 95,000 children were covered by Medicaid and/or CHIP in 2016. Shea-Porter voted to pass a landmark reauthorization and expansion of CHIP in 2009, which has played a significant role in driving the national children’s uninsured rate down to an all-time low of 5% as of 2016.
Shea-Porter, a longstanding champion of Community Health Centers (CHCs) and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), earlier this month cosponsored a bipartisan bill, the Community Health Improvement, Modernization and Excellence (CHIME) Act of 2017, which would extend CHC funding for five years. She also sent a letter with 46 bipartisan Members of Congress calling for continued NHSC funding. Without action by Congress before this Friday, September 30, New Hampshire’s CHCs will face a devastating 70% funding cut (which could mean a loss of nearly $16 million) and the NHSC will lose 100% of its funding. In New Hampshire, 12 CHCs receive federal funding for 29 sites serving more than 89,000 patients. New Hampshire CHCs employ 13 clinicians receiving NHSC loan repayment, and are currently recruiting for an additional 34 NHSC-eligible vacant primary care provider positions.
House Republicans have not yet scheduled a vote for Hurricane Irma and Maria disaster relief. Earlier this month, Shea-Porter voted for a bipartisan Hurricane Harvey disaster relief package. Shea-Porter’s advocacy for disaster relief is informed by her work as a Red Cross volunteer in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. The federal government’s inadequate response to that disaster helped inspire her to run for Congress.