Sequester will force patients into ERs, advocates say

ADVERTISEMENT
"Every community that a health center serves will be adversely affected in some way," said NACHC Board Chairman Elect Gary Wiltz in a statement.

"Current patients, many of whom have chronic conditions and need on-going medical care, may lose access to the low-cost primary care they know, or low-income families who have been waiting for a health center to open its doors in their community might have to wait even longer, or they will just continue to go to the local emergency room for care."

Health centers are facing up to $120 million in sequester cuts of "almost nine percent," according to the NACHC. The alternative for many patients — emergency-room care — is substantially more expensive and burdensome to the healthcare system.

Lawmakers return to Washington next week, but it is unlikely they will craft a deal with President Obama before the cuts hit Friday.