PRESS RELEASE

Rep. Capuano Urges Additional Funding for Community Health Centers

March 14, 2003 -- Rep. Michael Capuano has introduced the bipartisan "Resolution to Expand Access to Community Health Centers" (REACH). This measure calls for the doubling of funding for the consolidated health centers program by 2006. The additional funds would significantly increase access to comprehensive health care for the 41 million Americans who are currently without health insurance.

"Community health centers have been providing cost effective and quality health care for over 30 years. We know that investing in community health centers improves the health and quality of life for many Americans, and we must provide these centers with the resources they need," Rep. Capuano stated.

Community health centers provide health care services to uninsured and low-income individuals in medically underserved areas. They are vital to the fabric of health care in our country. This year, more than 1,000 health centers across the country will serve nearly 14 million people.

"Community health centers provide comprehensive primary and preventive care to uninsured individuals for approximately a dollar a day. Current resources only allow health centers to serve a little over 10% of our nation's uninsured population. We can do better than that," stated Rep. Mike Capuano.

Rep. Capuano, who founded and co-chairs the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Community Health Centers, is working to expand congressional awareness of the role they play in providing care to underserved urban and rural areas nationwide. Rep. Mike Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) also serve as co-chairs.

The REACH Initiative was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. 33 Democrats and 5 Republicans joined Rep. Capuano in introducing the legislation.

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Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208