Federal School-Based Health Center Bill Gaining Bipartisan Support

Federal School-Based Health Center Bill Gaining Bipartisan Support

As schools open their doors to students for a new academic year, a growing number of supporters in Congress have joined together to sponsor legislation that authorizes a federal school-based health care program. “Even as it seems that our nation is irrevocably divided along partisan lines, an issue like the health, wellbeing, and safety of children and adolescent can unite political leaders,” said John Schlitt, president of the School-Based Health Alliance, praising the bipartisan spirit of the legislative coalition.

H.R. 5899 was introduced in May 2018 by a bipartisan group of members, including John Faso, Fred Upton, John Sarbanes and Paul Tonko.

Issues confronting young people like opioid and other illicit drug use, suicide and violence are front of mind for Congress; school-based health centers represent an important part of the solution for many communities.

“I’m helping to lead the charge on this important, bipartisan bill because I want to continue our support for our nation’s children and help them succeed in every facet of life,” said Rep. Fred Upton. “By reauthorizing the SBHC program for 2018 to 2023, I’m aiming to continue crucial services.”

“Access is the number one healthcare issue facing our community, and I’m working to fix that with common sense bills like this one,” said Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif) in a statement about his support for H.R. 5899.

The number of bill sponsors has grown over the summer to 32, including 11 Republicans and 21 Democrats. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and David Valadao (R-CA) joined on this week.

See the Alliance’s initial statement upon the bill’s introduction.

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