Primary Care Access: An Essential Building Block of Health Reform

Source: National Association of Community Health Centers, March 2009

From the press release:
The number of people struggling without access to basic health care during these tough economic times has skyrocketed from 56 million to 60 million in just two years, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). A report released by the association today – Primary Care Access: An Essential Building Block of Health Reform – attributes the growth of the “medically disenfranchised” population to a host of factors that include a worsening shortage of primary care doctors in needy communities and a growing scarcity of providers willing to treat the uninsured or publicly insured. The number of medically disenfranchised grew three times faster than the total U.S. population, a clear sign that that access to primary care is worsening and reaching middle-class American families, even among those who do have insurance. The findings were released today at a briefing with representatives from Community Health Centers around the country, which have received $2 billion in federal help from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to deal with increased demand from the uninsured. With plant closings and job losses mounting from the economic downturn, people who find themselves suddenly uninsured or underinsured are relying more than ever on a place where insurance status doesn’t matter – at a Community Health Center.

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