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Patients Still Going to Free Health Clinics – Even After Affordable Care Act

January 27, 2014
Plain English Version

Free health clinics in South Florida hoped they would go out of business. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also know as Obamacare is intended to give health insurance through the Medicaid program to low-income people.

Instead, patients are still pouring into the clinics. There are two main reasons. Many people earn too much money to enroll in Medicaid. Many others have incomes that are too low to qualify for subsidized health insurance.

About 800,000 Floridians fall into the coverage gap of too much or too little money.

The ACA does not serve the undocumented making another 500,000 without coverage. However, American born children are eligible for ACA.

Also, there are a large number of people who find the Affordable Care Act program too complex and uncertain.

Florida rejected the expanded Medicaid program. It means that the state will not get millions of federal dollars to enroll more people in Medicaid.

The result is people continue to go to the free health clinics.

The health clinics are having trouble raising money. A clinic director said supporters of the clinics thought Obamacare would end the need for them. Many are surprised to learn the ACA program is not working for many low-income people.

Elsewhere, the University of Pennsylvania started a clinic in Philadelphia. It is called Puentes de Salud (Bridges to Health). In addition to providing health care services, its goals include literacy, nutrition and sex education programs.

Across the country bodega clinics continue to give low-income and undocumented people health care. The Affordable Care Act is not reaching all who need it.

Source: The Miami Herald                                                                                                    January 25, 2014

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