Thousands of QC patients' healthcare at risk

The cost of Congressional spending plan failure would mean clinic cuts

DAVENPORT, Iowa - Keisha has been coming to the Community Health Care Clinic in Davenport regularly for more than a year now. 

"I wouldn't go anywhere else," she says.

Keisha checks up on her thyroid and blood pressure and says her costs would skyrocket if she went to a private office. 

"Here, it goes by your income. At some private cares, you're going to go in at the door with $50. Some people don't have $50," says Keisha.

CHC based in Davenport serves about 37,000 people in the Quad Cities and Clinton. 
About 90% of those patients fall below the 200% poverty line. 
Community Health Care Clinic CEO Tom Bowman says if federal funding doesn't show up soon, it could hurt thousands.

"Certainly the number of patients that we'd be able to serve would probably drop, some estimates as much as 6,000 patients would not be able to come to CHC for their care if funding isn't restored." 

The possible three-million-dollar loss could also mean service cuts. 

"We'll have to look at certain programs that maybe aren't as cost effective as other programs and look at some of those services and what do we have to keep as core services and what can we live without," says Bowman. 

Bowman says he's optimistic that the current spending plan in congress will pass. 
But he says in the meantime, centers across the country have had to stop construction or been denied credit because of the funding limbo. 
For Bowman, he says he's put a freeze on hiring and spending.

"Anything that's going to be a significant cost to us we've had to put some delays on those types of things," says Bowman. 

Bowman was on capitol hill yesterday to make a pitch to lawmakers. 
His message was the same as his patients.

"You hurt a lot of people by not sending funding. We need funding," says Keisha.


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