Legacy Community Health Urges U.S. Senate to Protect Low-Income Americans in Health Care Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | May 4, 2017
Kevin Nix | (202) 431 5796 | knix@legacycommunityhealth.org

Legacy Community Health Urges U.S. Senate to Protect Low-Income Americans in Health Care Bill

HOUSTON – Legacy Community Health, one of Texas’ largest health centers serving 150,000 patients, today urged the Senate to re-write the American Health Care Act, passed today by the House, to be more patient-centered, particularly toward Americans who can’t afford the high cost of health care. The House bill, like its previous version unveiled in March, calls for the same deep cuts to Medicaid spending ($800 billion over 10 years). One in seven Texans rely on Medicaid for their insurance.

“We can’t lose sight of those whom the House bill impacts the most: pregnant women, children, and the disabled,” said Katy Caldwell, CEO of Legacy Community Health. “Significantly fewer funds going to help insure low-income and disabled people, our primary constituency, means they won’t get the healthcare they need. We urge the Senate to be mindful of the most vulnerable among us in states like Texas with high uninsured rates.”

Despite declines in recent years, Texas has the highest rate of people without insurance in the nation.

The Congressional Budget Office didn’t score the House-passed bill, but the previous scored-version of the AHCA dropped an estimated 24 million Americans from their insurance over a decade. An estimated 500,000 Texans would be dropped.

Community health centers in Texas provide primary and preventative care primarily to 1.5 million low-income patients each year, regardless of their ability to pay.  Nationally, health centers save the system more than $20 billion per year by keeping people out of costly emergency rooms.

Health center champions have included President George W. Bush, Speaker Paul Ryan, and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who called health centers’ role “vitally important.”

“I think it’s imperative that we retain them or improve the delivery of care in that area,” Price said during his confirmation hearing.

“The House bill does the opposite of retaining or improving our delivery of healthcare,” added Caldwell.

 

Legacy Community Health, a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), provides comprehensive care to over 150,000 community members, regardless of their ability to pay, at 22 clinics in Southeast Texas. The agency provides adult primary care, HIV/AIDS care, pediatrics, OB/GYN and maternity, dental, vision and behavioral health.

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