Friday, November 17, 2017
"Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, we hope you're listening."
That is the plea made in a Lancaster Online editorial that urges legislative action to reauthorize health center funding and brings the implications of not doing so home. The editorial follows an article on the subject by LNP, Lancaster's news source. Both the article and editorial share that SouthEast Lancaster Health Services estimates a loss of about $1.5 million a year, starting in April 2018, and said, absent other factors, that would result in about 10 percent of its 22,000 patients losing access to care. "The need is so great; we don't want to turn our backs on anyone," Hilda Shirk, president and CEO, told LNP. "The uncertainty of federal funding also makes it difficult to move forward operationally." LNP's position is that this is an essential program, and community health centers must remain open. The editorial concludes, "And if lawmakers can't compromise on programs that keep children well and fund health centers for the poor, we're in even worse shape than we thought." Thank you, Hilda, for helping to raise awareness of the implications of the funding cliff on the patients and communities who count on a Community Health Center for access to care.