At HealthNet, we see first-hand the real effects of the current economic environment. Each day, calls come in from middle-class people — once employed and insured — who now find themselves in a situation they never dreamed they would be in: unemployed and uninsured. For many, their unemployment benefits have been exhausted as well as any savings they may have had. They now find themselves desperately looking for a place to access affordable care for themselves and their families.
In Indiana, two new health centers will close and more than 85,500 patients will lose access to care. Nationally, health centers will lose the capacity to serve 11 million patients and 127 health centers across the country will have to close their doors. (this according to IPHCA and NACHC)
This is what could happen if Congress approves a $1.3 billion spending cut to the Community Health Centers Program, in its effort to finalize a national budget for FY2011. Without community health centers like HealthNet, few options remain, forcing patients to use local emergency rooms for primary care. Not only is ER care expensive, but it also leaves the patient without a medical home for ongoing care.
Funding cuts to Health Centers represent:
- Greater cost to taxpayers and insured patients
- $1.67 per patient per day at a FQHC; $2.64 average at all physician offices
- Less patients receiving preventative care
- Requiring more frequent trips to the ER
- Up to $122 billion of health care costs to the American people
- Taxpayers get a significant return on that investment with FQHCs
- Hospitals have to waste time on primary care
- Rather than saving lives of the seriously ill and injured
For the uninsured – whose ranks include the poor and the well-off, the employed and the jobless – the issue is more than just a political debate. It is very personal.
Where do I go for care for my family?
The numbers of people who need health care has not decreased, and in denying them access to affordable care, we confront a crisis that poses an even greater risk to our nation’s health — higher rates of chronic disease, higher health-care costs, more needless illness and deaths.
If you give a care about keeping Indianapolis a healthy place to live, take five minutes TODAY to help our city:
1. Sign up to be a health care advocate.
2. Call or email your Representatives to support all community health centers in Indiana by maintaining level funding for the Health Centers Program for fiscal 2011.
On behalf of the 50,000 patients we serve, thank you for making a difference!