Letter: Free Clinic services still needed
A letter written in the Nov. 29 issue of the Gazette-Journal ("Isn’t Obamacare supposed to cover this?") questions the need for a Free Clinic, citing the recently passed Affordable Care Act and admitting "confusion."
The Affordable Care Act is a first step in what will be a very long journey to achieve universal health care for our citizens. All of the provisions of the ACA will not kick in for several years, and some of the needed provisions require regulation and rule writing, which will take years, not months, to complete. Many provisions will be fought against by extremely well-funded insurance industry lobbyists and, yes, Republican legislators who work for them. Worse, much of the ACA will be administered by the insurance companies who will try to hang onto citizen’s insurance payments like their livelihood depended on it (it does!).
For these reasons, many disadvantaged and not-so-rich citizens will fall through the cracks and they will very badly need the Free Clinic.
Another important consideration: our current fee for service private insurance company administered system is a very poor fit for citizens who are really down and out due to bad luck, age or disability. Some care will have to be given by not-for-profit clinics and a thriving Free Clinic is likely easily reorganized into an ACA supported Primary Care Clinic.
For all these reasons, we should support the Free Clinic and recognize we will need such charities for several years to come!
John C. Partin, M.D.