December 20, 2023

Wyden, Merkley, Bonamici, Salinas, Colleagues call for Expanded Funding for Community Health Centers

Washington, D.C. – Oregon U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with U.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici and Andrea Salinas, joined bipartisan colleagues today to urge the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide more access to federal resources for community healthcare centers.

Currently, there are 136  Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Look-Alikes in Oregon and across the nation that provide services to over 1 million patients, but still don’t receive federal resources they should be eligible for. FQHC Look-Alikes are organizations that meet all of the eligibility requirements of an FQHC that receives a Public Health Service Section 330 grant, but do not receive grant funding.

“These community-based health care providers are already serving populations that may not otherwise be able to access care, and hope to expand the reach of their services to more people,” the legislators said.

“HRSA should be leveraging the network of existing FQHC Look-Alikes. By prioritizing Look-Alikes that already comply with Health Center Program requirements over brand new sites, HRSA will ensure that federal dollars are being allocated to health centers with a proven track record of success that hope to expand the universe of patients they can serve and expand the care they are able to offer.”

The letter was led by Senator Wyden and U.S. Representative Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.). Along with Wyden, Merkley, Bonamici and Salinas, the letter also was co-signed in the Senate by the U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Angus King (I-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and in the House by Representatives Ken Calvert (R-Calif), Josh Harder (D-Calif.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Young Kim (R-Calif.) and Katie Porter (D-Calif).

The text of the letter is here.