ObamaCare to fund nearly 300 new community health centers

ObamaCare to fund nearly 300 new community health centers
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The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it will spend $169 million to open hundreds of community health centers in underserved areas nationwide with funding from the Affordable Care Act.

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The 266 new nonprofit health centers, which the government describes as the country’s “largest safety net system for primary care,” will be in addition to the 700 facilities that opened in the last few years with funding from ObamaCare.

The centers are geared toward medically underserved populations, such as individuals with low incomes or living in rural areas.

Many have helped people sign up for coverage under the healthcare law, receiving grants to hire workers and promote the program. President Obama wrote in a statement last week that the health centers "are playing a significant role in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act."

The first community health center opened 50 years ago, and since then, the not-for-profit system has seen a rapid rise, becoming the leading provider of primary care in the U.S.

The majority of providers receive grants from the federal government that make up about 20 percent of their operating budget, and the centers can be run by both private and public entities.

In total, the Department of Health and Human Services operates 1,300 community health centers, providing primary care to one in 14 people, according to Jim Macrae, the acting head of the Health Resources and Service Administration.

“These awards mean that more communities than ever can count on a health center to help meet the increasing demand for primary care,” Macrae said in a statement Tuesday.

The successes of these centers has also been highlighted in the presidentially appointed “National Health Center Week.”

Dr. Tracey Green, the top medical official for Nevada, penned an op-ed Tuesday calling the health centers the “largest and most successful primary care system in the country,” pointing to their role in reducing infant mortality, improving immunization rates and developing programs for early screening and treatment of cancer.