Policy Priorities

Federal Legislative Priorities – 115th Congress

Hallways to Health Act (H.R.1027/S.356)

We support the Hallways to Health Act, a comprehensive bill that would provide federal support for high-quality comprehensive health care and mental health services to students at school-based health centers (SBHCs) across the country. This bill includes several provisions that we will seek to incorporate into legislative vehicles as they become available.

Talking Points

The Hallways to Health Act:

  • Makes several technical improvements to the School-Based Health Center authorization
  • Strengthens payment from Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by requiring states to guarantee reimbursement to SBHC providers for services delivered to enrollees
  • Provides support for state-based technical assistance
  • Authorizes grant program to expand the utilization of community health workers
  • Authorizes grant program to expand use of tele-health services in SBHCs
  • Designates SBHCs as federal safety net and essential community providers
Preserving Medicaid

We oppose any changes to Medicaid financing that would reduce children’s access to the comprehensive, robust health benefit mandated under current federal law.

Talking Points

  • Federal Medicaid law requires states to ensure children’s access to a comprehensive benefit aptly titled, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT). This cost-effective strategy guarantees coverage for pediatrician recommend services that lessen preventable and treatable physical, mental and developmental health conditions among vulnerable children and adolescents. Any diminution of this defined standard would exacerbate already scarce health and mental health resources – particularly if children’s health threats go undiagnosed and untreated.
  • Mental health issues in children and adolescents represent a debilitating threat to their lifelong health and academic success. Medicaid is a vital investment in financing detection, early intervention, and treatment of emotional, psychological and behavioral health disorders.
  • Current Medicaid benefits extend to substance abuse treatment – coverage that can literally be a life-line for those struggling to overcome addictions, including opioids.
Community Health Center Program (Section 330 Public Health Service Act)

We support maintaining Community Health Center (CHC) funding for the nation’s health care safety net. Millions of low-income children and families rely on federally funded community health centers for medical, behavioral, and oral health care.  Community health centers also represent one of the largest block of school health center sponsors. Funding cuts to CHCs would be financially devastating to school health centers as well.