Health care legislation has been on a roller coaster ride in Washington, DC. These past few weeks, we have seen various pieces of legislation being introduced, news that the ACA repeal wasn’t going to happen, followed quickly by news that there may be a vote on ACA repeal after all. Then today, the Senate convened and voted to proceed with discussions and a vote on health care repeal and replace legislation.
In the meantime, there are currently about 29 MILLION people in this country who remain uninsured, and millions more that struggle with being able to afford what little insurance they may have, or with paying for their expensive medications. 29 MILLION. That is not counting the millions of people that will be added to this number of uninsured – with estimates ranging from 25-30 million additional people that will no longer have health insurance.
While members of Congress and the current administration continue to debate and fight over the future of health care in this country, Free and Charitable Clinics, Charitable Pharmacies and other members of the safety net continue doing what they have been doing for decades: working to provide access to health care for those in need in communities throughout the country.
Our members are providing life saving care, they are addressing health disparities, providing a wide range of services from primary care, dental, mental health and health education, as well as dealing with issues ranging from immigration, human trafficking and health literacy to name a few.
At our clinics, our patients are seen – not as a generic total number that can be overlooked – but as mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and neighbors. They are seen as people who work hard but are not offered insurance through their employers. These are people that need our help. They are not a statistic or a talking point but people who struggle with making difficult decisions on putting food on the table or paying to see a doctor.
We ask you to join us as we make sure that people are not forgotten or overlooked, that they are treated with respect and dignity and are provided with the health care that we consider to be a right and not a privilege. We ask that you get involved today, either being volunteering at your local clinic, by donating to the NAFC or by making sure that your voice is heard in Washington DC as these debates and conversations continue. Please join us in building a healthy America, one person at a time!