WASHINGTON, D.C.-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would make available up to $300 million through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to Community Health Centers (CHCs) to expand services to underserved populations. The funds will be used to help the nation's community health centers expand service hours, hire more medical providers, and add oral health, behavioral health, pharmacy, and vision services.
For more than a decade, Harkin has worked to expand CHC's in Iowa and around the country through his dual roles in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where he played a pivotal role in the Senate passage of the ACA, and as chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (the LHHS subcommittee) that funds health programs such as community health centers.
"Community health centers are a critical part of our nationwide health care system, providing essential health care services to thousands of Iowans every year," Harkin said. "New funding made available through the Affordable Care Act will help these centers expand care to individuals and families in need, while adding good-quality jobs in our communities. Between the Health Insurance Marketplace, which helped more than 29,000 Iowans enroll in health coverage for 2014, and expanded resources for CHCs, the ACA is helping bring affordable, quality health care to more Americans every day. I encourage Iowa's community health centers to apply for this crucial funding and my office stands ready to assist CHCs throughout the process."