San Francisco Clinic Consortium's Quarterly Newsletter
SFCCC Staff, Patients, and Board Members Meet Leaders of Congress
On March 30. 2017 SFCCC STAFF PATIENTS AND BOARD MEMBERS met with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and with Congresswoman Jackie Speier. Both Congresswomen have been strong supporters of health centers and the clients that we serve. A patient from North East Medical Center(NEMS) and a patient from Mission Neighborhood Health Center told moving stories of how the clinics had helped save their lives, and strong support was expressed by all.
The meetings were part of our national organization, National Association of Community Health Centers, (NACHC) annual Day on the Hill. SFCCC, California and the nation were all strongly represented with a huge turnout.
SFCCC’s President and CEO, John Gressman, was honored in front of thousands at the opening session with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
SFCCC will continue to work on national priorities with NACHC. Our goal is to stabilize funding in order to continue the high quality, comprehensive access to care for all patients. Top national priorities include:
1. Defend Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) and the prospective payment system for community health centers. Nearly half of all patients at Health Centers are covered by Medicaid. Health Centers and Medicaid work in conjunction to provide coverage and access for vulnerable patients. As Congress considers changes to Medicaid, we urge that Health Center patients’ coverage is not put at risk, and that the Federally Qualified Health Center Prospective Payment System is kept intact.
2. Halt potential cuts to Health Center Grants. Health Centers could face a 70% funding cut this fall when the current bipartisan extension of the Health Centers Fund expires on September 30, 2017. We need to halt this “fiscal cliff” by extending federal funding for health clinics for at least five years. Health Centers are a key access point for high quality comprehensive care, and sustaining and boosting health center funding is a good investment for patients, communities and taxpayers.
3. Address the crisis in health center workforce. Without sufficient medical providers and strong support staff, we cannot serve out patients
American Health Care Act
On May 4, 2017 Congress passed the American Health Care Act (ACHA). While a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score was not developed in time for the vote, CBO had predicted that the previous version of the bill would force 24 million Americans to lose. The bill that actually passed was worse than the original Trump/Ryan proposal, since it included new provisions that would make it harder for patients with a pre-existing condition to get affordable coverage. By eliminating Obamacare reforms that led to “community rating” the ACHA would make a sharper division between those who are young and healthy and everyone else. The Senate will likely take at least a month to consider the bill and is likely to make major changes, after which a reconciliation process would occur. While our San Francisco Congressional members stand with us, we will continue to be part of the national movement to defend our patient’s access to health care. While some of the most onerous provisions in the ACHA are theoretically state “options” the bill would change insurance markets and, most importantly, take huge amounts of funding from California’s Medi-Cal program.
We will continue out advocacy, hopeful that despite ongoing efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act public opinion is swinging toward understanding the importance of the ACA, including the millions of people with coverage through the Medicaid expansion.
Successful Day at the Capital on May 3rd!
On May 3, 2017 SFCCC staff, and our member clinics, visited our state legislators to tell them about the work we are doing and ask them to continue to support community health centers in upcoming budget and policy debates. For more information: go to http://capca.nationbuilder.com
SAVE THE DATE!
Celebrate John Gressman's 26 years to SFCCC at our 35th Anniversary Gala!
Join us at the famous Green Room inside the San Francisco War Memorial & Performing Arts Center as we bid a fond farewell to SFCCC President & CEO John Gressman and pay tribute to his 26 years of tirelessly dedicated service, advocacy, and immeasurable accomplishments to enhance community health. With enormous gratitude for John's innovative and principled leadership and deep commitment to carrying on his legacy, this year we also celebrate SFCCC's 35th anniversary of working to ensure all San Franciscans have access to quality health care.