Main image
22nd March
written by naehblog

Yesterday marked an important moment in American legislative history.

Last night (so late it was almost early this morning), the U.S. House of Representatives passed health care reform legislation. The hotly-contested legislation endured fierce debate up to the very end, and the final bill passed without any Republican support.

While it may not be readily apparent, the health care reform bill has a significant effects on the homeless population. Among many other things, this legislation expands Medicaid eligibility to include people with incomes of up to 133 percent of the poverty level, covering nearly all people experiencing homelessness.

Moreover, the legislation will also provide approximately $10 billion for community health centers for Fiscal Years (FY) 2011 through 2015. Typically, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allocates 8.7 percent of total community health center funding toward the Health Care for the Homeless program, which can be used to provide services to people in permanent supportive housing. The health care legislation also expands early childhood home visitation programs, which provide parent education, child development, and support services to low-income, at-risk young children and their families.

President Obama has said he plans to sign the legislation on Tuesday, March 23.

P.S. We made the video above last summer, when the healthcare reform debate was just heating up, but it still does a pretty adequate job of wrapping up how the two are related and why health care reform matters to homelessness. Let us know what you think…

1 Comment

  1. John McGah

    This is very helpful blog/video on the direct benefits of the Healthcare Bill for homeless Americans. And I also appreciate the link (2nd in blog) to Nan's article which lays out the interconnected web of issues – health and health care chief among them – that contribute to homelessness. It is such a nonlinear system where employment, health, housing, social networks, education are all interrelated and interdependent. The need for a systemic approach (systems thinking) to real, comprehensive solutions becomes apparent. Thanks!