Hope Cook: Investment in health centers good for America | SteamboatToday.com

Hope Cook: Investment in health centers good for America

I am writing today to call attention to a positive step toward ensuring all Americans have access to affordable health care. Congress recently passed a new budget that included reauthorization of funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). This is a big deal for millions of Americans and for many local residents who receive their health care at FQHCs operated by Northwest Colorado Health in Steamboat Springs and Craig.

Community health centers have served the nation for more than 50 years. Health centers provide open access to care for 26 million Americans, including one in 12 children, one in six people living in rural communities like ours and more than 330,000 veterans.

FQHCs utilize an integrated model of care that includes dental services, behavioral health services, alternative pain management and public health wellness programs as well as primary care.

By providing affordable preventative health care, health centers are helping reduce costly health complications and emergency room visits, generating $24 billion in health cost savings. Talk about an investment being leveraged to impact the greatest number of Americans for the most good.

Community health centers are a win for taxpayers and especially for individuals who have limited or no health insurance and might otherwise forgo important health services for themselves and their families. Everyone, regardless of income or insurance status, will receive care at a community health center.

So if you feel so inclined, please email or call our legislators to let them know that they did a good thing for all Americans.

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Hope Cook
Community Health RN

Steamboat Springs