Agenda for America – Expanding Community Health Centers

Expanding Community Health Centers

President Bush recognized the needs of uninsured and medically underserved communities and promised to open or expand 1,200 health center sites to serve an additional 6.1 million Americans by 2006. In his second term, the President will build upon his proven record of expanding access to health care to help communities in need. The President will:

* Ensure that Each of America’s Poorest Communities has a Health Center – These health centers are located in medically underserved urban and rural areas where there is little access to basic health care services. They provide critical primary and preventive health care services to low-income individuals, migrant farm workers, homeless individuals, and children regardless of their ability to pay.

As someone who lives in one of those communities, I would point out that they do something else – make health care available without a long drive even for those who do pay. I live in a town of 2,100 people that doesn’t have a doctor’s office. Whether you have insurance, money in the bank to pay, Medicare or whatever, if you live in Granby, you leave town for any health care. I wouldn’t expect this to be the federal government’s responsibility, all other things being equal, but all other things are not equal when the federal government has been handing out free medical care in urban areas for years. Enough of my ranting though, there is a fundamental commitment to see to it that basic medical care is available to all Americans regardless of ability to pay and to do so in a way that doesn’t create massive new bureaucracies, bankrupt the country or impede people from making vital choices about their own medical care. Only a Kool-Aid Drinker could complain about that.