U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced Thursday, March 25 that the state’s 11 federally qualified health centers will receive $33.37 million to expand access to vaccines, provide for ongoing testing and treatment, and ensure Vermonters are getting the care they need. This funding will be provided to health centers as a result of the American Rescue Plan, the stimulus package enacted earlier this month to provide relief and further address the health and economic crises we face.
Sen. Sanders, chairman of both the Budget Committee and the HELP Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security, who led the fight to increase funding for health centers in the American Rescue Plan, said, “I’m proud that Vermont has the highest per-capita use of community health centers in the country. Nearly one-in-three Vermonters rely on community health centers because they know they will get high quality health care, dental care, and affordable prescription drugs. $33 million, the biggest single investment made in the state’s community health centers in history, is an enormous amount of money and represents a huge leap forward for Vermonters’ health care.”
Federally qualified health centers serve over 155,000 Vermonters each year. The American Rescue Package also provides $800 million nationally for the National Health Services Corp, which provides scholarships and loan repayment to clinicians who work in underserved and rural communities. This funding will bring needed health workers to practice in Vermont.
Since the beginning of the current public health crisis, Vermont community health centers have received more than $42 million in federal emergency funds.
“This funding is significant, but our work is not done until everyone in this country has access to affordable medical care when and where they need it. That is why I will continue to fight for long-term, robust funding for our community health centers so that they can care for our people long after this pandemic over,” said Sanders.