On October 1, President Trump signed a continuing resolution (CR), a temporary funding measure to avert a government shutdown and fund the government at current levels through December 11. The CR included an extension of Community Health Center Fund, National Health Service Corps, and Teaching Health Centers Program, which were originally set to expire at the end of November 30.
On October 1, the House passed a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, a modified version of the HEROES Act, which the House had originally passed in May. The pared down version of the legislation includes $7.6 billion in supplemental funding for CHCS and $1 billion for workforce programs, including National Health Service Corps and Nurse Corps.
Uncertainty remains over whether Congress will reach an agreement on another round of COVID-19 legislation before the November election. President Trump called for negotiations over a comprehensive COVID-19 relief bill to halt before the election, although he indicated he would be open to a more piecemeal approach to additional stimulus.
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Access to 340B Medications at Risk
The 340B Drug Pricing Program is a critical program for health center patients, ensuring that they can obtain medications at affordable prices. Without the program, access to medications would be out of reach for millions of patients, negatively impacting their health. Recently, several manufacturers have announced new restrictions on 340B medications, focusing on manufactures’ actions around contract pharmacies.
These restrictions endanger the intended purpose of the 340B program and health centers’ ability to provide care to their patients. NACHC, Primary Care Associations, and community health centers across the country are talking with Members of Congress and HRSA, urging action to stop these damaging provisions from going into effect. This week, NACHC filed an initial complaint against HHS in regard to contract pharmacy issues.
As a reminder, NACHC has released a 340B Toolkit with more detailed information on each of these developments. If you would like to receive a copy of the template, please contact Emily Waitt at email@example.com.