Butterfield Votes to Pass House Committee on Energy & Commerce Budget Reconciliation Package

Feb 12, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) released the following statement on the House Committee on Energy & Commerce’s portion of the House Budget Reconciliation Package and the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 American Rescue Plan:

“Today, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce took an important step towards advancing President Biden’s American Rescue Plan that will crush this virus, save lives, and provide relief to struggling American families,” said Congressman Butterfield. “The healthcare portion of the American Rescue Plan that passed out of the Committee on Energy and Commerce this evening provides critical funding to increase vaccinations and testing across the country, reduce health disparities, and increase healthcare coverage by providing a new incentive to expand Medicaid for states like North Carolina that failed to do so after enactment of the Affordable Care Act.”

“Investment in Medicaid is an investment in our future.  Medicaid beneficiaries have improved health, do better in school, and have higher earning potential than their uninsured peers.  Medicaid expansion does not just bring health benefits to the people it covers, it also brings economic growth and opportunity to the entire state.  In North Carolina, Medicaid expansion would not only provide coverage for more than 600,000 people, but it would also create over 37,000 more jobs by 2022.  It would increase state and county tax revenues by over $600 million.  This is exactly the economic boost that rural communities need.  I join the Governor in calling for the North Carolina legislature to expand Medicaid and once the American Rescue Plan is enacted, they should do it at their earliest opportunity.”

“Throughout my tenure as Governor I have advocated for using Medicaid expansion to reduce North Carolina’s uninsured population, bring down health care costs, and build a healthier North Carolina,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.  “This proposal would do that.  Especially during a pandemic, increased federal support to provide more North Carolinians with health coverage will be helpful as we work with our legislature to increase coverage.”

“In addition to expanding coverage, this bill also makes critical investments in our public health infrastructure, including $7.6 billion for Community Health Centers to test, treat, vaccinate, and sustain COVID-19 activities, supplies, and infrastructure,” said Butterfield.  “It also provides $800 million for the National Health Service Corps to invest in primary care services for health professional shortage areas nationwide.  The health centers in my district have told me how important and desperately needed this funding is.” 

“The House relief bill makes critical investments into the life-saving work of Community Health Centers (CHCs) who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chris Shank, President and CEO of the North Carolina Community Health Center Association. “This emergency legislation will bolster CHCs’ capacity to vaccinate communities at greatest risk from COVID-19 while providing ongoing testing and comprehensive primary care services.”

“This legislation also invests in sustaining the local health care workforce in rural and underserved communities—challenges that have only grown due to the pandemic,” said Shank. “North Carolina’s Community Health Centers eagerly await passage of this critical rescue legislation, and we look forward to working further with Congress on additional steps toward growing the health center program and workforce.”

 

More information on the Committee on Energy and Commerce’s portion of the Fiscal Year 2021 Reconciliation Act can be found here.

*The Fiscal Year 2021 Reconciliation Act puts into action the policies and budgetary requests outlined by the Biden Administration’s American Rescue Plan.

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