Issues

Below, please find the NAFC 2019 Public Policy Objectives.  


BACKGROUND

The National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC) is dedicated to ensuring that America’s medically underserved have access to affordable, quality health care. Annually, 2 million people receive health care at America’s 1,400 Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies. This is accomplished through the work of dedicated staff and over 190,000 volunteers, including over 94,000 medical volunteers. Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies focus on the overall needs of patients by providing medical, dental, pharmaceutical, behavioral health, vision, and health education services and ensuring that uninsured and underinsured people throughout the country have a medical home.


ANNUAL FUNDING PRIORITIES SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATIONS

To better address the health care needs of individuals, including the uninsured and medically underserved, adequate funding for key programs must continue to be allocated each year through the appropriations process.

HEALTH CARE ACCESS AND AFFORDABILITY PROGRAM FUNDING

The NAFC supports funding for all critical Federal safety-net programs at appropriate levels to allow for affordable health care access,including:

  • The Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program under Title X

  • The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

  • Medicaid 

  • Medicare

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FUNDING

The NAFC supports funding that strengthens America’s medical professional and volunteer workforce through the appropriations process for the following programs:

  • Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)– Protect the current funding level for the Free Clinic Medical Malpractice Program under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).

  • Nurse Corps Loan Repayment –Protect the current funding level for the Nurse Corps Loan Repayment program. 

  • National Health Service Corps –Protect the current funding level for the National Health Service Corps.

  • Corporation for National and Community Service – Protect the current funding level for the Corporation for National and Community Service.


STRATEGIC AND MISSION FOCUSED PUBLIC POLICY OBJECTIVES

We believe that all individuals, regardless of their age, sex, income, education, immigration status, ethnicity, color of skin, religion, or sexual orientation should have access to affordable, quality health care.

HEALTH CARE ACCESS AND AFFORDABILITY PUBLIC POLICY OBJECTIVES

To increase our ability to address the health care needs of individuals, including the uninsured and medically underserved, the NAFC supports: 

  • Legislative language to improve access for the uninsured and underinsured to affordable, accessible, and portable health insurance.
  • Legislative language to promote the development of policies that stabilize the health insurance market.
  • The creation of a Medically Underserved Population and Health Professional Shortage Areas automatic designation for Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies.

MEDICATION ACCESS AND AFFORDABILITY PUBLIC POLICY OBJECTIVES

The unaffordability and inaccessibility of medication impacts all Americans, including the uninsured and underinsured. Therefore, the NAFC supports:

  • The inclusion of eligible Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies as authorized entities for participation in the 340B Drug Pricing Program.
  • Legislative language to support increased access to affordable medications for the uninsured and medically underserved.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PUBLIC POLICY OBJECTIVES

To strengthen America’s medical professional and volunteer workforce, the NAFC supports:

  • The expansion of the Federal Tort Claims Act to include entity coverage for Free Clinics.
  • The expansion of the Federal Tort Claims Act to include Charitable Clinics, Charitable Pharmacies and their entities.
  • The expansion of the National Health Service Corps to include Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies.

NONPROFIT FINANCE AND TAX PUBLIC POLICY OBJECTIVES

Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies do not receive dedicated federal funding and have to rely heavily on private donations from individuals and foundations. Therefore, the NAFC supports:

  • The establishment of a Universal Tax Deduction for individuals to enable them to donate more easily to non-profits.
  • The protection of the Johnson Amendment – a provision in the U.S. tax code that prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates.