WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) today highlighted how federal investments in Community Health Centers in Maryland, provided under the Affordable Care Act, are helping deliver higher-quality health care to 292,000 Marylanders. Already, community health centers in Maryland have received nearly $60 million in Affordable Care Act funding to expand capacity in our state.
“Federal investment in health centers is a game changer. Greater access to primary and preventive services reduces health disparities for low-income individuals, racial and ethnic minorities, rural communities and other underserved populations. Community health centers are the backbone to providing quality health care for hundreds of thousands of Marylanders,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance Committee Health Care Subcommittee.
“Federally qualified health centers are leading the way in developing best practices to overcoming geographic, cultural, linguistic, and other barriers. Their efficiency is based on a team approach to care, including physicians, nurses, dental providers, social workers, and many others. I am proud that the Affordable Care Act is working to directly improve the lives of millions of Americans through the innovative use of community health centers.”
The Affordable Care Act been crucial for America’s community health centers. The law provides $11 billion in funding over five years to build new health care centers and expand existing ones, effectively doubling their capacity to more than 40 million patients by 2015. By that date, it is estimated that community health care centers will provide affordable health care to two-thirds of low-income Americans.
Health centers are an integral source of local employment and economic growth in many communities. Health centers employ more than 148,000 workers nationwide and added more than 35,000 jobs over the last four years. Currently, about 1,200 health centers operate more than 9,000 service delivery sites that provide care to over 21 million patients across the country.