Dept. of Health and Human Services gives $105 million to community health centers
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) —
President Donald Trump's administration put a plan in motion Tuesday to invest in community health centers around the United States.
Part of "National Health Center" week, it comes at a time when the future of health care is uncertain.
At Unity Health Care center in Washington, dentist Dr. Cassandra Wright provides what is for many their only hope for treatment.
“Almost all my patients don’t have insurance, or if they have insurance it’s Medicaid," Wright said. "A lot of places don’t take Medicaid, so if there weren’t the community health centers to service the community, this community would not have health care or dental care."
This week, Wright and others are celebrating an $80,000 grant, part of $105 million spread given to 1,333 community healthcare centers around the country, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The community health grant program has been around for more than a decade, but funding for it increased under the Affordable Care Act.
HHS Secretary Tom Price himself got a first-hand look at the needs facilities like this provide with a tour at Unity on Tuesday morning.
“It’s a pivotal aspect of our healthcare system,” Price said in an interview following the tour.
Price’s visit comes at a time when Obamacare's cloudy future has prompted some insurers to boost premiums or even leave the marketplace altogether.
“Premiums are up for those individuals in the individual and small group market. Deductibles are up ;I’ve heard from literally hundreds of individuals who have an insurance card but they can’t get any care because they can’t afford the deductible,” said Price.
Just before leaving for August recess, lawmakers in in Washington failed to agree on a replacement for Obamacare.
Meanwhile, support for Obamacare is at an all-time high, and a new poll recently found healthcare is the most important issue facing the country today, beating out immigration, foreign policy and the economy.
For Price, the challenges are many; but he’s hoping providing more resources to community centers like this one will make a difference.