Legislative affairs represents a key component of FACHC's mission. Efforts to mobilize grassroots support for local budget requests, statewide funding initiatives such as Florida's Community Health Center Expansion Grant program and funds for community health centers through the Low Income Pool have produced successful results for all community health centers in Florida. FACHC continues to work with legislators, agencies and other stakeholders to write and support legislation on behalf of Association members. The Association provides resources and specialized technical assistance to FACHC members in their communities and assisting in marshalling local legislators for local needs.
FACHC develops policies that represent the collective thinking of our members and represents a collective view on positions of both principle and practice. FACHC policies are developed through a thorough process of member involvement under the overall guidance of the Legislative Committee. In addition to articulating specific policies that establish principles for better addressing our issues, FACHC develops more specific guidelines that recommend specific actions on the part of FACHC members through leadership and allied organizations that move toward an improved social and political environment for community health centers to play a most effective role.
The process begins with the selection of a topic or issue. These topics are FACHC's Legislative Priorities. After a topic is chosen, FACHC Staff produce a draft guide for review by the Legislative Committee. Once the draft guide is approved by the Legislative Committee, it is sent to all FACHC members for review and comments. Comments are submitted to the Legislative Committee and a final draft is prepared.
FACHC and its members are actively working on several key legislative issues including increasing access of medically underserved communities to essential health care services, establishing a pilot project in partnership with the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, maintaining the Governor’s proposed (and current level) budget funding issue for community health centers, and addressing the issue of the uninsured.
FACHC is committed to public policy that is responsive to public concerns and is based on quantifiable data. As a result, the Association has committed significant resources to making available easy to use and understand data tools. We shall utilize all of our collective assets to effectively convey our message and mission to policymakers, in Tallahassee and in Washington.