Community Health Centers Seek Funding Renewal on Capitol Hill

Feb 7, 2018

Community health center representatives from across Ohio were on Capitol Hill Tuesday asking Congress to renew the Health Centers Fund. It covers 70 percent of their federal funding, which expired at the end of September.

Asian Services in Action has started planning for cuts if its federal funding runs out this month. The group runs two community health centers in Cleveland and Akron. They provide care for Ohioans on Medicaid and those without insurance.

CEO Michael Byun said cost-cutting measures would include “reduction in services, reduction in clinic time, potential impact on staffing, and also the potential for reducing site locations.”

Byun said their centers serve immigrants, including many Asians, who used to travel to New York City to receive care from Asian doctors.

“Folks are telling us they are no longer getting on that bus to go to NYC but staying locally in Cleveland to get their care from providers that speak their language, that understand their culture," Byun said.

Byun would like to see a long-term solution to the health centers’ federal funding problem, but he’s OK with a two-year renewal and an estimated $7.4 billion that covers some 2,800 centers across the county.