50 Million Americans uninsured, Health Center access is needed

Originally posted in December of last year, I thought this blog post was useful as a refresher for everyone who continues to advocate for HealthNet and other Federally Qualified Health Centers.  It is also useful for those who are new to the blog and may still be wondering exactly what the benefits of FQHCs really are.  Just last  week, Senators Stabenow (D-MI) and Boozman (R-AR) acquired 42 additional signatures on their Letter of Support for the Health Centers Program sent to the Appropriations committee.  This post was written last December, too, BEFORE the cuts in funding for the Health Centers Progam….

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Imagine if you needed medical treatment now, but you had to wait 2-3 days in order to get an appointment at your personal physician’s office.  Well, this is happening in community health centers throughout the nation.

Last year, a reported 50 million Americans between the ages of 18-64 were without health insurance for the entire year.  This, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is an increase of “1.1 million people each year, over the past several years,

and middle-income people account for half of that increase.”

Access to health care is essential to these people who no longer seek preventative or regular services because of its cost.  Prevention is MORE important than treatment in terms of getting and staying healthy, and now people are coming to the doctor only in times of serious illness or emergency.  This delay can lead to poorer health in the long-run, and people battling with disabilities and chronic illnesses are affected the most.

This reality of more and more people becoming uninsured heightens the importance of greater access to care.  The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), reported an increase of 36% for the number of uninsured patients who visited health centers nationwide.  The need is growing, and the access to care must grow with it.

Preventative care is available through community health centers that can provide multi-service primary care to those who are uninsured, underinsured, or those who do not qualify for other forms of aid.  And the good news is that community health centers around the nation are set to expand as a result of more federal funding.

However, you can help your OWN community by supporting HealthNet‘s community health centers continued efforts to expand and reach those who need it within Indianapolis.  Vistit our website, indyhealthnet.org or donate directly by clicking here.

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The need has been there, and the need for access to health care has been growing.  Join in advocacy efforts, learning more, or helping to close the gap for health center funding. Every little bit helps to serve those in Indianapolis.

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