kthompson's blog

Tropical Depression Imelda

Texas communities are once again dealing with severe flooding due to Tropical Depression Imelda’s heavy rains.  As news comes in, the NAFC has been reaching out to our Texas members, as well as those in Louisiana and Arkansas as the storm continues. We heard from one member yesterday, Ubi Caritas Health Ministries in Beaumont, TX, who gives this first-hand account:

“This situation for us in Beaumont in the area we serve is worse than it was with Harvey. Our hearts are breaking for the community we serve. We are making plans to hopefully be able to get into the clinic in the morning to set up assistance to get our patients the care they need and get them to safety and to shelters. They are evacuating the area currently and will not let us in. One of our staff members husband works for the fire department and he is in the area making boat rescues and has rescued many of our patients already.”

The picture on the left is from an intersection close to the Ubi Caritas Clinic, and the video below is drone footage of the South Park neighborhood that Ubi Caritas is in. The video starts off at the end of Highland Ave, the street the clinic is on.

Update on Tax Legislation & NAFC Concerns

Both the House and the Senate moved swiftly and passed a $1.5 trillion piece of Tax Legislation which is the most sweeping tax overhaul in decades.  The bill will now be sent to President Trump to sign into law. 

Wednesday's re-vote in the House split mostly along party lines, 224 to 201, as it did 24 hours earlier. Twelve Republicans voted against the measure, along with all the Democrats. To view the legislation in its entirety, please visit http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20171218/CRPT-115HRPT-466.pdf

The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics remains very concerned with the implications and unintended consequences of this large-scale legislation, especially the following provisions:

Free & Charitable Clinics Provide Front Line Health Care Response

Over the last month, our country has endured riots, wildfires, floods and now two record breaking hurricanes. Providing health care in disaster impacted areas is critical, and yet unfortunately this is often difficult, not to mention heart breaking.

Those working in Free and Charitable Clinics are front line responders to their communities in times of need.   Our staff, volunteers and medical providers work to provide health care to all that need it.  Many times this means traveling to patients who are unable to physically get to the clinics due to lack of transportation, flood waters or illness itself.

Our member organizations are fearlessly and generously giving their time and talents in Hurricane Harvey impacted areas and now are preparing for the massive impact of Hurricane Irma which in Florida with the potential to impact Georgia and the Carolinas as well.  One thing is for certain, Free and Charitable Clinics - as they do every day - will continue to provide access to health care to their communities.

The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics is asking everyone to join with us as we offer our thoughts, prayers and support to those caregivers across the country who are putting their communities’ health care at the top of their priority list.

NAFC Reaction to CBO Findings and CNN Town Hall with HHS Secretary Price

Last night NAFC Board Member and Executive Director of the Americares Free Clinics in Connecticut Karen Gottlieb attended the CNN Town Hall with HHS Secretary Dr. Tom Price.  There Karen was able to speak about her work with the uninsured for over 20 years and asked the Secretary how he plans to help our patients who often go on and off insurance due to unsteady employment and who, according to the plan, would face being charged 30% more due to a lapse in health insurance coverage.  She mentioned how many of our patients can’t afford premiums due to circumstances beyond their control and often have to make tough choices.

Unsteady employment is just one of the many issues facing patients that are medically underserved and uninsured in this country, and that potentially could be uninsured in the future.