For Immediate Release
Gov. pledges $4 million support, Senator calls on feds to step up
Harrisburg – Legislation sponsored by Sen. Ted Erickson (R-26) to spur the development and expansion of community-based health care clinics received unanimous approval by the Senate today and has been sent to the governor for enactment.
Senate Bill 5 creates the Community-Based Health Care Program in the Department of Health to provide grants to community-based health care clinics in Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Corbett embraced the legislation in his 2013-14 budget address by including a $4 million appropriation for the program.
“Health clinics across Pennsylvania play a vital role in our healthcare system, and their importance will continue to increase,” Senator Erickson said. “Clinics deliver high-quality and cost-effective primary health care regardless of patients’ insurance status or ability to pay. They also help cut overall health care costs by reducing the number of expensive emergency room visits and avoidable hospital admissions. It’s past time for the state to provide direct support.”
SB 5 will expand access to primary and preventative care across the state by providing funding for nurse-managed clinics, volunteer clinics and hospital-based clinics.
Senator Erickson said it’s now time for the federal government to join with Pennsylvania and make a greater investment in community health care clinics.
“The new federal health care law, regardless of Medicaid expansion, will provide subsidies to citizens to purchase health insurance. But, even with health insurance, these individuals will not be able to access the care that they need without the capacity in the health care system,” said Senator Erickson. “Senate Bill 5 will foster the development and expansion of clinics in our state so that the newly insured can easily obtain quality care.”
“Governor Corbett is making a $4 million dollar investment in health clinics, but we need greater investment from the federal government to make sure that the newly insured can access care in our state,” Senator Erickson added.
Senate Bill 5 was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives last week, with the Senate unanimously concurring with House amendments today. The bill has been introduced four times since 2008, gaining Senate approval in the last two legislative sessions.