The need to reform our health care system has been embraced by almost every component of society. Growing numbers of people are uninsured or they have insurance but little or no access to basic health care services. The toll of unmet health care needs is incalculable. For over forty years health centers have broken many barriers to health care in America’s poorest communities, while also customizing their services to meet the needs of the communities they serve.
As health care costs continue to rise so does the need. The consequence? A growing need for the services provided by health centers. Health centers welcome anyone in need of care, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay.
• 46 million Americans lack insurance.
• 60 million people lack access to a doctor specifically because of local shortages of primary care physicians. Many of them actually have insurance.
• Nearly 1,500 counties across the every state have disenfranchised populations and do not have a health center.
• $18 billion a year is wasted on unnecessary visits to hospital emergency rooms for health care that could and should be provided by a health center.