Community Health Centers Would Grow Under Health Reform Bills

"As the recession grinds on, more and more people are relying on taxpayer-supported health centers that offer care on a sliding fee scale," The Associated Press reports. "If Congress passes a law giving more Americans access to health insurance, the clinics will also be a critical element to ramping up capacity to care for millions of new patients." Federally funded clinics this year "are on track to handle more than 20 million patients — 2 million more than last year. Visits by uninsured patients jumped 21 percent from 2008 to 2009. Legislators working to restructure the health care system are planning to nearly quadruple the clinics' federal funding. House Democrats would provide billions of dollars over the next decade, as would a version of the Senate health care bill" (Barbassa, 10/14).

WMUR New Hampshire reports on a health center in Concord that is basing the cost of care on a patient's ability to pay. "Concord Hospital Family Health Center is trying to help some of the thousands of people who can't afford health insurance in New Hampshire. In 2007, before the recession, studies showed that roughly one in seven adults in the state was uninsured" (10/14).

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