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Health Care for the Homeless Action Bulletin
October 26, 2015 | Volume XX, No. 4

Debt Ceiling Limit,

Budget Negotiations, and

a House in Turmoil... Oh My!

If your head has been spinning lately from all the pending disasters, the threat of a government shutdown, a looming federal credit default, and an ever changing list of potential House GOP leaders marching before you, you aren’t alone. It seems as if Congress is operating in constant crisis mode. To top it off we are in a presidential election year, which brings its own instances of politicking and distractions. Through it all the important work of Health Care for the Homeless continues. As a community we must continue to advocate on behalf of our clients, staff, projects, and ourselves to ensure that the politicians seriously address the issue of homelessness. This Mobilizer features a number of simple steps you can take to help that happen.   
Using Social Media to Get Poverty and Homelessness Discussed at Upcoming Debates
The presidential election season presents an opportunity to get conversations of poverty and homelessness onto the main stage. Social Media is a major platform for communicating a message and engaging in advocacy. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be used to directly ask candidates to discuss issues of homelessness and poverty. As public platforms, questions and requests you propose become public, putting pressure upon them to respond. Tweet @ the candidates or post a question on their Facebook walls. Let’s keep the pressure up and get discussions of homelessness and poverty onto the debate floor! You can find the candidate’s social media contact information here.
Support S. 2151 Extending FTCA Malpractice Protection to Health Center Volunteers
Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Bob Casey (D-PA) reintroduced legislation to extend malpractice coverage provided under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) to volunteers of health centers. Bill S. 2151: Family Health Care Accessibility Act of 2015 provides liability protection for volunteer practitioners at health centers. Currently protection is not provided, which makes it difficult for health centers to recruit volunteers and forces them to choose between turning volunteers away or spending large sums of money on additional malpractice insurance. Co-sponsors are needed to ensure this important bi-partisan piece of legislation gets the attention it deserves. Call your Senators  and ask them to cosponsor S. 2151!
Join the Next Phase of ACCESS Is the Answer
The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) has launched the next phase of the Access is the Answer Campaign. The passage of H.R. 2 extended ACA funding for health centers through FY2017 ($3.6 billion per year). Continued advocacy is needed to ensure this funding continues past FY2017. Support the campaign by signing up to be an advocate, and go even further and get your entire HCH project staff to join; communicate the importance of funding directly with your legislators via social media, and engage local media around stories related to how funding has helped you better serve patients.
Support H.R. 1662 to Amend the Mortgage Interest Deduction
H.R. 1662: Common Sense Housing Investment Act of 2015, introduced by Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN5), seeks to provide funding for affordable housing programs by making adjustments to the mortgage interest deduction process. As the chart shows, half of all federal spending on housing benefits households with incomes of $100,000 or more. The resulting revenue from H.R. 1662 would divert more than $250 billion to affordable housing programs over ten years. Call your Representative today and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 1662! And while you have them on the phone, ask them to sign the Dear Colleague letter in support of raising the budgetary spending caps.
Use social media to get poverty and homelessness issues on the debate floor!
Contact your members of Congress and ask them to cosponsor S. 2151 and H.R. 1662! If you want to make a toll free call, call the Congressional Switchboard at 1-800-828-0498 and ask to be connected to your senator or representative.
Join the Next Phase of Access is the Answer!
Submit your 2016 NHCHC Conference Proposals. The deadline is Midnight PT on October 30.
Submit Your Conference Proposals and Join Us in Portland, OR next May!
The deadline for NHCHC Conference Workshop Proposals is October 30.
The deadline to submit workshop proposals for the 2016 National Health Care for the Homeless Policy Symposium is fast approaching. 
Proposals are due by October 30 Midnight Pacific Time. Find out more about proposal submission guidelines and how submit your proposals here.   
This publication and all HCH advocacy are funded by dues from Organizational Members of the Council. Consider joining the Council to support this work.
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