San Angelo's Community Health Clinic Faces Funding Crisis Unless You HelpOpinion
SAN ANGELO, TX (OPINION) — The staff, patients and board members of La Esperanza Clinic are joining the call to urge lawmakers on Capitol Hill to extend funding for community health centers and preserve affordable health care in the community. The appeal to extend funding comes after months of living under a “funding cliff.” Critical funding for health centers and other programs expired on October 1,, 2017. Every health center, including San Angelo’s La Esperanza Clinic has had to make tough budget choices to ensure they can continue to provide care.
“This is not how a health system should run – particularly given that the Health Center program has served the nation so well in terms of saving lives and dollars,” said Mike Campbell, CEO. “We urge our leaders in Congress to act now and fix the funding cliff so that we can continue to provide affordable health care to people in need.”
The call to fix the funding cliff comes as patients, doctors and staff at health centers face a ticking clock, with a substantial portion of federal funding estimated to last until next month. Health centers, which currently serve 27 million patients, are already enacting hiring freezes, cutting back key programs and services for patients, and facing site closures. Not only will the funding cliff trigger job losses in the local economy, on a national scale it means the closure of 2,800 health center sites, loss of health care access for 9 million patients, and more than 50,000 job losses.
Health center advocates are organizing a Day of Demonstration to call attention to the funding cliff on Tuesday, February 6. They are also visiting Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers and urge them to pass legislation that will extend funding in the next Continuing Resolution.
La Esperanza Clinic, Inc. operates three locations in San Angelo. Its mission is to provide quality primary preventative health and dental care services to all people, particularly the medically underserved of San Angelo and the Concho Valley.
To learn more about health centers, visit www.nachc.org. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter at a #RedAlert4CHCs