Impact of Health Reform on Free Clinics
March 29, 2010, Nonprofit Quarterly — As the entire nation tries to interpret exactly what Congress passed and President Obama signed as the health care reform legislation, we find it interesting that in the past few days, there have been several articles about “hundreds” waiting in line for free health clinic examinations in Roanoke, Virginia, Atlanta, Georgia, and Belmar, New Jersey. Both the Belmar and Roanoke clinics were heavily focused on dental care.
Will health insurance reform mean that recent free clinics in these places—plus Houston, New Orleans, and Little Rock—no longer be necessary? The executive director of the Scotland Community Health Clinic in Laurinburg, North Carolina appears to think that the need for free clinics won’t disappear with the President’s signature on health insurance legislation: "The early talk is that there will still be a long term need for free clinics (because) … (e)ven with vouchers, not everyone will be able to purchase medicines, and some will not qualify for Medicaid. I don't see the need for free clinics going away just yet."