Blunt Wants More Money for Health Centers

1 decade 3 years 10 months ago Friday, January 06 2006 Jan 6, 2006 Friday, January 06, 2006 5:41:07 PM CST January 06, 2006 in News

Joan Kelley is the only nurse practitioner at the Linn Community Health Center where mostly low-income people get basic medical care for $10 a visit.

The waiting room consists of four chairs, and there are only two patient waiting rooms. But, Kelley thinks this little building makes a big difference.

"Our facility here is based on filling a need that's in the community and communities across the state of Missouri," Kelley explained, "where a lot of people don't have any kind of insurance coverage or have limited access because they cannot afford to go see a doctor."

Blunt's proposed funding increase would help centers like Linn's.

"The fact that the governor is going to recognize that there is a need for our kind of clinics," Kelley added, "and that it needs some financial help to get off the ground and help us buy some of the equipment."

If the centers get more state money, they'll be able to add dental and mental health care. Kelley says many of the 720,000 patients who used community health care centers last year are former Medicaid recipients who no longer qualify for such help.

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