Short Takes On News & Events

States Cut Community Health Center Funding

By Christian Torres

December 8th, 2011, 5:22 PM

Just as demand for services at community health centers has been projected to increase — both because of the recession and the health law’s expansions in access to medical care – state funding for these centers has reached a seven-year low for fiscal year 2012, according to a new report.

A survey by the National Association of Community Health Centers found 35 states will provide centers with direct funding, which excludes Medicaid and federal funding, this year. The $335 million overall is a 15 percent decline from fiscal year 2011. Six states are cutting funds more than 30 percent, with Washington state completely wiping out last year’s $10.2 million for centers.

Source: National Association of Community Health Centers

At the federal level, the situation is more complicated. In FY 2011, there was a nearly 28 percent decrease in the annual appropriations for community health centers, down $604 million from $2.19 billion in 2010, according to the NACHC. However, at the same time, the 2010 health law provided $11 billion for expansion of health center services and some of that money has helped to offset the loss.

“That money was supposed to go toward community health center growth, but instead it’s being diverted to covering operating costs,” said Amy Simmons, an NACHC spokeswoman.

FY 2012 appropriations remain up in the air and deficit reduction talks could also alter the financial outlook for centers, which have seen an increase in uninsured patients since the recession. Centers are slated to receive another $1.2 billion in mandatory funding this fiscal year from the health law.

5 Responses to “States Cut Community Health Center Funding”

  1. Tony says:

    States Cut Community Health Center Funding??? The only thing in our health care system that works and neanderthal Republican Governors are slashing funding. Talk about complete morons. These idiots continue to support our failed fee-for-service (FFS) health care system. It’s been proven time and time again, FFS medicine perpetuates and rewards sickness. FFS medicine has no incentive to make people well and to support good outcomes. Doctors want you sick and they do things to keep you sick so you keep coming in for care! Corrupt greedy shysters! Tiny yet expensive one-doctor practices spread out all over the place and hard to access when they could have all of the services under one roof with trained nurses doing most of the routine care. Neanderthals! The only answer is to encourage WalMart to get into the game and watch these tiny one-doctor practices dry up and blow away. These ill equipped one-doctor practices are costing consumers a fortune while keeping consumers sick!

  2. David says:

    Good point Tony,

    These’s absolutely no reward mechanism in our current health care system that pays providers to keep patients well. Nothing! There’s little, if any, patient satisfaction surveys. Any surveys like this are usually ignored by the providers. There’s no government agencies to oversee providers and hospitals to make sure they deliver wellness and good outcomes. Providers and hospitals talk a big story but where’s the beef? The incentive is still to make sure they keep people sick so they get paid for the volume of procedures, tests, medicines and other services. Most insurance companies have no substantial healthy lifestyles programs or incentives for gym memberships. Most consumers are not encouraged to join a gym by their health insurers. For providers and insurers, the name of the game is to do everything possible to keep people sick so they keep paying the bills! When will our leaders stop the insanity and begin to reward wellness and good outcomes. Congress wants to repeal the only thing that “might” begin the process toward rewarding wellness and good outcomes by repealing Obamacare. Many in our Congress still want to keep the status quo and reward our current sick-care system.

  3. Dr.Neand says:

    “Doctors want you sick and they do things to keep you sick so you keep coming in for care!”

    …did everyone take a moment to consider how ridiculous that statement is? If you left your bomb shelter and got to know your doctor a little, you might not assume he’s trying to bend you over the entire visit. Believe it or not, two different letters before their name doesn’t turn them into violent scumbag “shysters.” Are they worried that everyone is just magically going to become perfectly healthy one day? …no, because there will always be a need for doctors, a need far outweighing idiots who suggest Walmart, the symbol of greed, to rape healthcare.

  4. Harry says:

    “…did everyone take a moment to consider how ridiculous that statement is?”

    I did….

    Ridiculous?

    Not!

  5. Sarah says:

    What? There’s no greed in today’s health care? Huh? There’s plenty! If anything, take away anti-trust protections that insurance companies enjoy today and introduce a WalMart style competitive model. It can only make things better because it can’t get much worse. America’s overall health care system efficiency ranks below Costa Rica and just ahead of Slovenia and yet we spend 18 percent of GDP on our health care system. The next most expensive country is the Swiss at just 12 percent of GDP. And you think a WalMart style health care system would make it worse? Are you joking?

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