Why the 2020 Census is Critical for Community Health Funding
At Banyan Health Systems, we know that every person deserves high-quality health care for mind and body. Our team strives to give patients in Miami-Dade and Broward counties accessible and integrative health care. As a not-for-profit and federally funded healthcare organization, the types of services we are able to provide is reliant on the accuracy of public data such as the census.
What is the U.S. Census?
A simple explanation is that the census is a count of everyone living in the United States. The constitution mandates that the government takes a count of every person every ten years. However, getting an accurate count of every single person across all 50 states plus other territories can be complex. This year, the census faces additional challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to online responses which can have a negative impact on populations with limited internet access. An inaccurate census count can result in the loss of adequate public health services for vulnerable communities, including children and the elderly.
How Does the Census Affect Healthcare in My Community?
The census count is used to produce statistical data on your community and country, including data on populations, demographics, employment, and education. This data is used by your local officials and national policymakers. There are three major ways in which the accuracy of the census can affect community health centers like Banyan Health:
- Federal Funding: The amount of money that public health programs will receive from the federal government for the next 10 years is dependent on how many people are counted in each community. The census also affects funding for Medicaid and Medicare.
- Policy and Representation: One important way the census shapes our country is that it is used to determine how many seats each state has in the House of Representatives. Changes in the House of Representatives can have a major impact on public health policy.
- Community Services: Census data is used by local and federal leaders to inform decisions about which areas of the country need additional medical care, which can affect the location of facilities and resources for improvements, result in the opening of new community health centers, as well as trigger a closing or change in services of existing community health centers.
Fill Out Your Census
An accurate census count is vital to community health services in the United States. Time is running out, but you can still be counted by filling out your census today! Click here to get started.