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In return for his vote, Bernie Sanders reportedly obtained $10 billion dollars in new funding for Community Health Centers and the National Health Service Corps.

What are these programs?

According to the website for Community Health Centers

Federally-funded health centers care for you, even if you have no
health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income.
Health centers provide

  1. checkups when you're well
  2. treatment when you're sick
  3. complete care when you're pregnant
  4. immunizations and checkups for your children
  5. dental care and prescription drugs for your family
  6. mental health and substance abuse care if you need it

Health centers are in most cities and many rural areas. Type in your
address and click the 'Find Health Centers' button to find health
centers near you.

I tried typing in my address and found six or seven such centers
within a few miles of my house.  Of course, I live in Berkeley, CA,
so maybe that isn't so surprising.  But still...

And from the website for the NHSC

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC), through scholarship and loan
repayment programs, helps Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)
in the U.S. get the medical, dental and mental health providers they
need to meet their tremendous need for health care.

Here is the text (pdf) of the section of Reid's manager's amendment that deals with this.  There's about $7 billion for Health Center Programs, about $1.5 billion for
Health Center construction and renovation, and about $1.5 billion for the Corps.

SEC. 10503. COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS AND THE NATIONAL
HEALTH SERVICE CORPS FUND.

(a) PURPOSE. It is the purpose of this section to
establish a Community Health Center Fund (referred to
in this section as the 'CHC Fund'), to be administered
through the Office of the Secretary of the Department of
Health and Human Services to provide for expanded and
sustained national investment in community health centers
under section 330 of the Public Health Service Act
and the National Health Service Corps.

(b) FUNDING. There is authorized to be appropriated,
and there is appropriated, out of any monies in
the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, to the CHC Fund

(1) to be transferred to the Secretary of Health
and Human Services to provide enhanced funding
for the community health center program under section
330 of the Public Health Service Act

 (A) $700,000,000 for fiscal year 2011;
 (B) $800,000,000 for fiscal year 2012;
 (C) $1,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2013;
 (D) $1,600,000,000 for fiscal year 2014;
 and
 (E) $2,900,000,000 for fiscal year 2015;

and

(2) to be transferred to the Secretary of Health
and Human Services to provide enhanced funding
for the National Health Service Corps

 (A) $290,000,000 for fiscal year 2011;
 (B) $295,000,000 for fiscal year 2012;
 (C) $300,000,000 for fiscal year 2013;
 (D) $305,000,000 for fiscal year 2014;
 and
 (E) $310,000,000 for fiscal year 2015.

(c) CONSTRUCTION. There is authorized to be appropriated,
and there is appropriated, out of any monies
in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated,
$1,500,000,000 to be available for fiscal years 2011
through 2015 to be used by the Secretary of Health and
Human Services for the construction and renovation of
community health centers.

(d) USE OF FUND. The Secretary of Health and
Human Services shall transfer amounts in the CHC Fund
to accounts within the Department of Health and Human
Services to increase funding, over the fiscal year 2008
level, for community health centers and the National
Health Service Corps.

(e) AVAILABILITY. Amounts appropriated under
subsections (b) and (c) shall remain available until expended.

To answer my title question, I think my Senators were lucky if they
got a cheeseburger.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Sat Dec 19, 2009 at 08:53 PM PST.

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