"Today's infusion of new money will enable them to expand their capacity and modernize their facilities," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced on Thursday.
The clinics -- in 29 states -- are now providing health care to 112,000 children, and Sebelius expects the number of children served to increase by an estimated 53,000 as the school clinics are expanded and upgraded.
“Children are the foundation upon which this country will grow,” Sebelius said. “The Affordable Care Act will help ensure our children get the high-quality health care they need and deserve.”
Sebelius also said the money will help create jobs: "Funds will support job opportunities as more Americans will be needed to meet the clinics’ pressing capital needs - including construction, renovation and new equipment."
The Affordable Care Act provides $200 million in funding from 2010–2013 for the School-Based Health Center Capital Program to address "significant and pressing capital needs and to improve delivery and support expansion of services at school-based health centers."
The Obama administration continues to spend money authorized under the act, despite legal challenges. The Supreme Court is expected to decide next year whether the law's individual mandate is constitutional. By then, billions of taxpayer dollars will have been spent on a health care system that passed without Republican support.
The grants announced on Thursday are the second in the series of awards that will be made available to school-based health centers under the Affordable Care Act. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) oversees the School-Based Health Center Capital Program.