Save The Health-Care Safety Net: Henry Waxman

By Mario Solis Marich


Health care system has thus far been ignored

In the debate about the fate of the Affordable Care Act, one indispensable cog in our nation’s health care system has thus far been ignored.

These are the community health centers, public hospitals, clinics and programs that never turn anyone away, regardless of the ability to pay. They provide family planning to women and primary care to public housing residents. They serve homeless families, people with TB and AIDS and hemophilia, coal miners with black lung and those in the grip of opiate addiction.
For many decades, these providers have been the major and sometimes only source of care for people in underserved communities, ranging from isolated rural areas to inner cities, from Indian reservations to Appalachia. And in some cases, they are the largest employers in their communities. They have grown up to fill gaps in our health care system —in terms of geography, demography and epidemiology — and are now the nearest and primary point of care for tens of millions of Americans.

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Mario Wire