Conference recap, cash resources for consumers, Medicaid expansion, & more!
Conference recap, cash resources for consumers, Medicaid expansion, & more!
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May 27, 2021 | Volume 25, No. 5 | Archives
Ibram X. Kendi Speaks on
Single-Payer Health Care
“Anti-racist policy is any measure that reduces racial inequity and creates racial equity. The Affordable Care Act reduced the gap in insurance rates which means the Affordable Care Act was an anti-racist way to go. Now when you compare single-payer to the Affordable Care Act, it is a different conversation. To not do single-payer is to maintain disparities in health insurance. That makes the single-payer option the anti-racist policy.

The above is an excerpt from Ibram X. Kendi’s conversation with NHCHC’s CEO Bobby Watts at NHCHC’s virtual conference. Conference registrants can re-watch the conversation here
TAKE ACTIONLearn more about single-payer and sign a petition telling Congress we need a single-payer, Medicare-for-All health care system. Find your Representative’s contact info and say thank you if they are a current cosponsor or ask them to join if they are not. Find online trainings, a storytelling portal, and local advocacy chapters with Healthcare-NOW!, or contact Regina Reed at and we’ll help connect you with your member of Congress.
Virtual Conference and Policy Symposium Success!
Health Care for the Homeless (HCH) community members are coming off a great week at our virtual conference. The conference included sessions on topics such as single-payer, drug policy, funding medical respite, homeless mortality, and more. Presenters included staff from multiple offices on Capitol Hill, Drug Policy Alliance, Vocal-NY, Healthcare- NOW!, and too-many-to-name all-star advocates from the HCH Community. If you registered for the conference, you can find recordings and PowerPoint slides of all the sessions here.  Mark your calendars for our 2022 conference (in-person) on May 10-13 in Seattle, WA.
Regina presenting at the ‘Advocacy for the Revolution’ Pre-Conference Institute session at HCH2021
Cash Resources Available for Consumers
Case managers and front-line staff should know about opportunities for financial relief available to their clients and how to access them. See the latest information (updated 5/26) on how to benefit from Stimulus/Survival Checks, the Federal Eviction Moratorium (now extended to June 30), Rental Assistance, Emergency Broadband Benefit, FEMA Funeral Relief, and historic increases to the Child Tax Credit. Questions about benefits for consumers can be sent to
TAKE ACTION: Forward this information to caseworkers and other colleagues to ensure clients are able to access the cash benefits available to them!
Biden Eases X-Waiver Restrictions, Our Advocacy Continues
The Biden administration eased requirements on practitioners to obtain a waiver for prescribing buprenorphine to patients with Opioid Use Disorder through a new federal rule that eliminates a training requirement for prescribers. However, training is still required for those treating more than 30 patients. While this is a positive step that will increase access to life-saving treatment, our advocacy continues for broader changes, such as those included in the MAT Act, which eliminates the requirement entirely.
TAKE ACTION: We are looking for medical providers and patients working with a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program or Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) that are interested in reducing barriers to MAT/OUD. To get involved, contact and/or send 2-3 sentences about your experience with barriers to accessing treatment.
Infrastructure, the Budget, and More Debated on the Hill
The Biden administration continues to push major spending proposals as part of the ‘Build Back Better’ agenda. Last month, the administration rolled out a $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, the American Jobs Plan (which includes $213 billion for developing affordable housing and $100 billion for expanding broadband), and the $1.8 billion American Families Plan proposal, which includes food assistance, paid leave, and other anti-poverty measures. Policymakers have not yet released corresponding legislation and partisan negotiations continue. Alongside infrastructure, over the next few weeks Congress will be focusing on police reform (which failed to pass before the anniversary of George Floyd’s death), voting rights, and the federal budget.
COVID-19 Updates
This month, the CDC issued new guidance on vaccine waste and guidance for individuals who are fully vaccinated. The new mask guidance does not apply to health care settings, shelters, or other congregate settings. The FDA approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine for youth ages 12-15, and HUD released funds from the American Rescue Plan for emergency housing vouchers and hiring public health workers. Learn about these policy developments and emerging issues related to COVID-19 in the bi-weekly COVID-19 Flash Blast.
Health Center Money from the American Rescue Plan
Last month, the Biden administration announced a $6.1 billion investment from the American Rescue Plan Act for community health centers to expand access to care. Funds have been distributed to every health center, with guidelines that allow for flexible use of the funding to address a wide range of needs. See our issue brief and recorded community discussion.  The deadline to submit award submission to HRSA is Monday, May 31, at 11:59 p.m. ET. HRSA also released an additional $1 billion in funding opportunities for health center construction and capital Improvements with a deadline of June 24 to submit applications.
The Push for Medicaid Expansion Continues
This week, the Senate narrowly confirmed the first Black woman, Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, as the Administrator of CMS. Brooks-LaSure is an advocate for health care expansions and will oversee Medicaid and other key health programs. The American Rescue Plan Act provides Medicaid expansion incentives that would increase a state’s Medicaid match rate for the traditional Medicaid population if a state expands. Political battles over expansion are going on in Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas with millions of lives on the line. States stand to gain many more jobs and revenue if they expand. If you live in a non-expansion state, NOW is the time to Take Action and be loud with your governor (find contact info) and state legislators about the need to expand coverage. Use the state-by-state cost-saving estimates provided by Kaiser Family Foundation and updated HCH insurance coverage data in your advocacy.
Federal Eviction Moratorium Challenged
After months of legal challenges from landlords and property owners to the CDC’s longstanding eviction moratorium, a federal judge ruled that the eviction moratorium is outside of the CDC’s authority. The U.S. Justice Department is appealing the decision and there is a stay (or pause) on implementation of the ruling. Thus, at the time this Mobilizer was published, the federal eviction moratorium is still in place. State and local moratoriums are not affected by the federal ruling.
What We're Reading
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Regina Reed, MPH
Health Policy Manager
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
This publication and all HCH advocacy are funded by dues from Organizational Members of the Council and by private donations. Consider joining the Council to support this work.
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