Acting to strengthen the health care safety net for the growing number of Americans in need, President Barack Obama and Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, and Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree today announced the release of $2,590,713 authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that will support two health centers in Maine. These health centers will help people in need — many with no health insurance — obtain access to the comprehensive primary and preventive health care services and create 85 jobs in Maine.
“We have acted quickly to put Recovery Act dollars to good use in communities across America,” said President Obama. “The construction and expansion of health centers will help create thousands of new jobs and provide critical assistance to Americans who have lost their job and their health care. Health centers, primary care, and prevention are at the heart of my plan for an affordable, accessible health care system.
Health centers in the following communities will receive support:
City of Portland – Portland, ME
Penobscot Community Health Center – Bangor, ME
Nationwide, grants totaling $155 million will assist 126 health centers and help provide health care to an estimated 750,000 low-income people across the country. The grants, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), are expected to create 5,500 jobs at the new health centers across the country.
HRSA’s network of 1,100 health center grantees across the nation provide health care at more than 7,000 sites, ranging from large medical facilities to clinics and mobile vans. In 2007, health centers served 16.1 million patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Charges for services are set according to income, and only nominal fees are collected from the poorest patients. Nationally, about 39 percent of health center patients have no health insurance.
HRSA’s grants typically account for about 19 percent of a health center’s total revenue. Medicare, Medicaid and other federal grants and payments total about 46 percent of revenue; remaining operating funds come from state and local grants, foundations and patient payments.