Three years ago, I attended a health fair in Decatur to help build public support for a new Community Health Center in Wise County. While I was there, I helped connect constituents interested in starting a center in Wise County with a Tarrant County organization that built two centers in Fort Worth. Three years later, Wise County got their first Community Health Center, and I was pleased to be there last week for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
With more than 8,000 locations across the country, Community Health Centers provide primary care to over 20 million people. These facilities are very important to local communities because they offer affordable and convenient care to the uninsured and underserved. The preventive care services the centers offer save our health care system $24 billion each year.
In Texas alone we have over 350 Community Health Centers that serve almost 950,000 patients each year. Medicaid beneficiaries who receive care at Community Health Centers are 30 percent less-likely to have inpatient hospitalizations, saving our state’s Medicaid program $8,000 for every beneficiary, every year.
The Community Health Center model has a proven record of success and has strong, bipartisan support in Congress. I am a long time supporter of these centers and I currently serve as co-chair of the Community Health Centers Caucus in the House. As a member of the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, I am directly involved in protecting federal funding for these facilities.
These centers are a smart investment, providing high-quality care that is cost effective. I was proud to be a part of the new center in Wise County and you can be assured that I will continue working to promote common sense health care solutions like this that save taxpayers money.
Member of Congress