Congressman Gene Green Welcomes Advanced Funds For Health Center
September 12, 2005
Houston, TX Congressman Gene Green (D-Houston) thanked Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt for his facilitation in the awarding of grants to establish 26 new health center sites in areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Earlier last week Congressman Gene Green also introduced legislation to authorize HHS to fully fund Medicaid benefits for Louisiana evacuees, to help relieve the financial burden imposed by sheltering victims of hurricane Katrina.
We have been working very close with Secretary Leavitt in relief efforts, said Congressman Gene Green. This money is dearly needed and it will be put to good use and will assist in the aid of thousands of evacuees not just in Texas but in other states that have welcomed our brothers and sisters from Louisiana.
Approximately $2.3 million in fiscal year 2005 funds will go to assist in getting health care resources up and running quickly in disaster areas and neighboring states treating evacuees from the storm ravaged Gulf Coast. Congressman Gene Green has been a long time supporter of this initiative and has advocated for the establishment of these health center sites.
Houston alone will receive funds for four sites. The organizations that will receive the funds already won grants to create new health centers through a competitive application process, but the initial distribution of funds was set for December.
Without Secretary Leavitts involvement we would not have seen these funds until December, continued Congressman Gene Green. He saw the gravity of the situation that we find ourselves in and has allowed funding to commence immediately so that we can use these resources.
Congressman Gene Green has also introduced H.R. 3671, which would authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide 100 percent of the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) under Medicaid for out of state medical assistance furnished to hurricane evacuees during a declared public health emergency.
In an effort to provide these individuals with necessary health care, the State of Texas has generously eased eligibility criteria for Medicaid enrollment, continued Congressman Gene Green. Under current law, however, the State of Texas is still responsible for 39 percent of the cost of evacuees care under Medicaid. This is why I introduced this legislation. Texas has a big heart but unfortunately we dont have deep enough pockets, we can barely keep up with our own states Medicaid needs