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Durbin, Duckworth Call for Extension of Community Health Center Funding

Every year, community health centers across the U.S. serve 27 million people - at more than 10,000 sites - and they focus on reaching underserved communities.

Federal lawmakers allowed funding for these centers to lapse last fall. U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois issued a statement Tuesday calling on Senate leadership to immediately reauthorize funds, lest an estimated 9 million Americans lose access to health care.

Nancy Greenwalt oversees Promise Healthcare in Champaign. She says a loss in federal funds would not affect them as much as other centers that rely on federal funding for a larger portion of their operating budget. But it would make it difficult to expand much-needed dental services,

“like, say, for adult dental care. And if that funding weren’t restored it would be harder to expand and provide that.”

On Tuesday, the House passed a stopgap bill - which included a two-year extension of the Community Health Center Fund. That bill now goes to the Senate.