U.S. Representative Richard Hudson's (R-NC) bipartisan MOBILE Health Care Act was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives today and now heads to President Joe Biden's desk to be signed into law. This bill will increase access to affordable, quality health care in rural and underserved communities by allowing community health centers to use New Access Point (NAP) grants for establishing mobile health units.
"The MOBILE Health Care Act is critical to improve health care quality and access across our country, especially in rural and underserved areas," said Rep. Richard Hudson. "I thank Representatives Susie Lee, Raul Ruiz, and Jaime Herrera Beutler for their dedicated bipartisan partnership on this bill. I have heard directly from community health centers in North Carolina and across the country about the positive impact this bill and the flexibilities it provides would have on communities and patients, and I look forward to getting it across the finish line."
Along with Rep. Hudson, Reps. Susie Lee (D-NV), Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) served as original House cosponsors on the bill.
"The pandemic laid bare longstanding inequities in our health care system, and I'm fighting to make health care more accessible to Nevadans, no matter where they live," said Rep. Susie Lee. "Federally-Qualified Health Centers provide essential care for thousands of Nevada families who need it. With the passage of this bill, we're one step closer to ensuring that every Nevadan has access to the care they deserve. I'm so proud that the House and Senate voted to pass this important legislation, and I look forward to President Biden signing this bill into law."
"Folks in rural areas often struggle to obtain convenient health care as they face long drives, high gas prices, and other barriers," said Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. "Mobile medical units are a great solution; they can bring those necessary medical services to patients, in turn making it more likely rural residents get the care they need. I'm proud the House passed our legislation expanding the use of these mobile medical units and making health care access better in rural communities throughout Southwest Washington."
"As a physician, I know firsthand the difference community health centers' mobile clinics make in expanding access to affordable, quality care in rural and underserved communities," said Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D. "The House passage of my bill with Congresswoman Lee, the MOBILE Health Care Act, will help our local health centers provide care to our hardest-to-reach populations with much-needed services like mobile units. Once signed into law, this bipartisan legislation will make a positive difference in the lives of my constituents and improve health outcomes here in our region and across the country."
In North Carolina, 18 community health centers currently operate 38 mobile units. For North Carolina's 43 total community health centers and the nearly 75,000 patients they serve across 400 clinical locations, this bill will help them to expand their current services to meet patients' current and future needs.
H.R. 5141 is supported by the North Carolina Community Health Center Association, Cabarrus Rowan Community Health Centers, Inc., and Community Free Clinic in Concord. This is in addition to the National Association of Community Health Centers, National Rural Health Association, American Dental Association, and National Health Care for the Homeless Council.