Repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, combined with a failure to renew critical funding streams, would result in catastrophic funding losses for community health centers–forcing these safety net providers to cut back on services, lay off staff or shut down clinical sites, according to a report from investigators at the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Research Collaborative at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health.
The report represents the first analysis of the potential effects on medically underserved communities of the types of health insurance losses contained in the American Health Care Act as introduced on March 6.
In 2015, community health centers served nearly one in 13 Americans. The findings from this study suggest that the rollback of insurance coverage carries enormous consequences for the accessibility of primary care in communities already at greatest risk for lack of care. These projected declines would, in turn, put a growing strain on hospital emergency care, just as hospitals are feeling the stress of major declines in insurance coverage, according to the report.