Community Clinics Falling Off Financial Cliff After Congress Fails To Approve Funds
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Credit: Nic McVicker
Something important happened while Congress was busy trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week — it missed the deadline to fund community clinics.
As a result, community clinics nationwide will be having to make some tough choices.
The clinics will run out of federal money at the end of December — $3.6 billion is at stake.
For many clinics in California, federal funds represent about 30 percent of their operating budget.
Vernita Todd is senior vice president of Health Center Partners of Southern California, a network of 17 community clinics in San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties.
Todd said if Congress does not act soon, clinics and the people they serve will suffer.
“So what we know is people will lose their jobs," she said. "And for us, that translates into fewer staff, but for the people in our community, it means fewer patients will get care.”
Clinics in Todd’s network treat more than 868,000 patients a year and employ 5,058 people.
While members of Congress were trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week, they missed an important deadline to fund community clinics.
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