Catholic Healthcare Partners and Trinity Health are endorsing legislation that would provide $45 million in federal grants to cover the uninsured through local venues. The bill, introduced by Reps. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) would provide startup dollars to local communities that develop a plan based on two successful models, Access Health of Muskegon, Mich., and CareNet of Toledo/Lucas County, Ohio. Hospitals belonging to Catholic Healthcare Partners and Trinity helped create and administer these respective programs.
We are grateful to Reps. Hoekstra and Stupak for introducing this legislation, said Joseph Swedish, president and chief executive officer of Trinity Health. Its built on what has worked well in the pastlocal communities coming together to lift their fellow citizens and ensure that everyone has access to affordable health insurance coverage.
Communities would be able to use the grants to administer Volunteer Specialty Provider Networks, a coordinated approach between local governments and healthcare providers to donate time and services for low-income members enrolled in the network. The bill would also establish a national clearinghouse for collecting, evaluating and disseminating data on the administration of the program. Funding for the grants would be authorized for a seven-year period. -- by Jennifer Lubell