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Congress should support

community health centers

Health care is a top issue on voters’ minds — and with good reason. Everyone seems to have a story about how difficult it is to see a doctor, fill a prescription, or get affordable care.

Congress is debating a lot of fixes, but one solution they should focus on already has been around for more than 50 years: community health centers. Health centers care for 1 in 12 Americans, approximately 28 million people. They save the health care system $24 billion a year by ensuring access to health care and generate $54.6 billion in economic activity. They keep people healthy and save lives through prevention and early treatment. I know because I work at Northwest Health Services and am a patient.

Health centers like mine, Northwest Health Services, already are addressing public health challenges — the opioid epidemic, caring for veterans, providing flood relief, and ensuring healthcare is available to all in need.

Health centers are a bipartisan program, but even strong support doesn’t guarantee survival in Washington. I recently met with my leaders in Congress to urge for stable and long-term funding for health centers. Let’s hope they act soon in passing legislation.

Rodney Hummer

Director of Development

and Community Engagement

Northwest Health Services

St. Joseph