Letter: Health services at risk if Congress doesn’t act | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Health services at risk if Congress doesn’t act

Ross Brooks
CEO, Mountain Family Health Centers

With all the news lately about health risks, it is critically important that everyone should be able to access health care when and where they need it. Access to a primary health-care provider is just as important as a health insurance card. People should have both — but unfortunately that is not always the case.

Some 62 million people nationwide struggle with little or no access to a primary care provider. We are making progress at Mountain Family Health Centers, providing comprehensive medical, dental and behavioral health services to more than 15,000 individuals a year at our Glenwood Springs, Edwards, Basalt and Rifle locations.

We are part of a network of Community Health Centers that serve 1 in 15 people living in the U.S., including over 250,000 veterans, in more than 9,000 communities nationwide. We provide affordable, effective care and have been recognized by the National Committee on Quality Assurance as a patient-centered medical home. As demand for our services continues to grow, a critical source of funding that helps us meet that demand is set to expire if Congress doesn’t act.

Our center could lose more than $1.5 million a year and would be forced to reduce services, sites and staff if Congress does not take action to fix the federal funding cliff. The impact would be disastrous and jeopardize affordable health-care services for thousands of patients in Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle and Rio Blanco counties.

We are grateful that there are bipartisan leaders on Capitol Hill that are calling attention to the problem. We hope their call does not come too late for the people who are still waiting for care. To contact your legislators and demand they fix the federal funding cliff visit this website, http://www.saveourchcs.org, or contact Danyelle Carlson at dcarlson@mountainfamily.org.

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