PICKERING: HEALTH CENTERS RENEWAL ACT OF 2008 VOTED OUT OF COMMITTEE
Legislation will improve health care services in Mississippi
Wednesday, the Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously approved by voice vote the Health Centers Renewal Act of 2008 (HR 1343). Congressman Gene Green (D-Texas) is the sponsor of this bill and Congressman Chip Pickering (R-Mississippi) is the lead Republican cosponsor. This legislation would provide additional appropriations for health centers to meet the health care needs of medically underserved populations.
"Our health centers provide cost effective, affordable, and accessible care to our most vulnerable and underserved populations in Mississippi," Pickering said. "After Katrina, community health centers answered the call to provide quality healthcare to displaced storm victims who couldn't get care in their communities because of devastation. These centers are extremely important and I am pleased to see that we are moving forward in the legislative process."
Mississippi has 22 community health centers with 152 delivery sites. After Katrina, these health centers treated 17,870 evacuees in Mississippi, 77% of who were without health insurance. Services provided at these sites can include basic primary and preventive medical care along with onsite dental care and pharmacies.
"Health centers represent our nation's largest primary health care system and serve as a medical home to more than 15 million Americans, the overwhelming majority of whom are low-income or uninsured individuals. This bill will double the number Americans that can be served in these health centers." Rep. Green said. "By providing the medically underserved with primary and preventive health care, federally-qualified health centers have also reduced the need for in-patient and specialty care and help to depopulate our overcrowded emergency rooms."
The Health Centers Renewal Act of 2008 would reauthorize programs under Section 300 of the Public Health Service Act for five years. The bill will now be forwarded to the full House of Representatives for consideration.