Why Community Health Centers Are a Lifeline for Primary Care

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By Patricia D’Antonio, PhD, RN, FAAN

On August 19th, the Editorial Board of the New York Times noted the Obama administration’s commitment to expanding community health centers and stabilizing the funding streams that support the salaries of the doctors “and other health professionals” who work to bring high quality primary care to poor urban neighborhoods and isolated rural ones. These health centers are indeed a lifeline for so many individuals, families, and communities. But they have a history that pre-dates federal involvement either through President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty or President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

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The Affordable Care Act and States’ wrong (The Public’s Health)

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Image Courtesy of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing.

July 30th marks the 50-year anniversary of the signing into law, by President Lyndon Johnson the Medicare and Medicaid legislation; legislation which profoundly opened up health care access to millions of Americans. Before we celebrate too loudly about this singular achievement which has improved the lives of our citizens both young and old, let’s remember that there are still many Americans left without adequate access to health care.

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