Safety Net Extenders Sign On Letter on September 2017 Program Expirations

Dear Congressional Leaders,

We write to you today to urge swift action to address the looming shortfalls and program expirations
facing some of the most crucial elements of our health care system. These programs – all of which will
see significant funding cuts beginning on Oct. 1, 2017, include:
● The Children’s Health Insurance Program
● Community Health Centers
● Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments
● Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program
● The National Health Service Corps

Without action by Congress in the coming weeks, major disruptions will begin taking place, negatively
impacting children, seniors, new mothers, rural and underserved patients and communities, clinicians,
hospitals and health centers. Each of our organizations represents or otherwise supports one or more of
these constituencies; today we are united in a common request that you act on these issues well ahead
of the looming deadline of September 30.

The programs discussed below represent major elements of our nation’s health care safety net—in
primary care, children’s health, hospital care and workforce recruitment and retention. Failure to renew
these investments in a timely manner would reverberate throughout the health care system: eliminating
coverage and access to care for millions, raising health care costs and reversing decades of bipartisan
progress. Sustaining and strengthening these investments and policies will have the opposite effect—
building on the goals we all share in health care: better quality, increased access to care, and cost

In a time of significant instability within the health care system, it is critical—for patients, their
caregivers and for state and local policymakers—that these programs are put on a stable footing. It is
reasonable for Congress to return periodically to evaluate any program – however, the instability
created by year-to-year uncertainty across so much of the safety net has a significant negative effect on
patient access and care. To that end, our groups collectively request extensions of these items for no
less than a five-year period.

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