The need for free and reduced cost health care is on the rise. An estimated 20 million people will visit a federally funded health center by years end, up 2 million from a year ago. The high cost of health care coupled with the double digit unemployment rate is only making the problem worse.
Julie Scorsone doesn’t have health insurance. She lives with her son and relies on free and low cost medical care for her shoulder pain and high cholesterol.
“I have no way to pay. My son will do it if he has too, but I don’t like having to rely on him all the time. I like to be able to do something on my one, but if it wasn’t for places like this or the clinics I wouldn’t go.”
Julie’s not alone. Nearly a million Floridians are out of work. Most of them lost their health insurance. The uninsured are flocking to the state’s 41 federally funded health centers for help.
The demand was so high at this Tallahassee health center that it didn’t have enough room for all its customers, so it changed locations to at more space.
The Bond Health Center tripled its square footage and added more staff. Doctor Edwardo Williams has been working at the Center for two years. Williams says it’s not just the jobless seeking low cost medical care.
“I’ve seen people from all walks of life, some that may have been professors at universities or other professional people who now because of whatever reason, downsizing, the don’t have insurance.”
The centers are seeing a growing number of people with inadequate health coverage. Two billion stimulus dollars a being spent to help the centers keep up with the need.
To find a community health center near you go to www.fachc.org and click on find a clinic.