America’s 1,200 Federally Qualified Health Centers would be hit hard by a possible U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month eliminating health-insurance premium subsidies for federal exchange-plan enrollees. Modern Healthcare reports that leaders of some of these clinics say they’d have to provide far more uncompensated care if the Supremes throw out subsidies.
“Given the shortage of primary-care physicians, community health centers have been key primary-care providers for Americans who have received expanded private and Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” the publication noted.
With the subsidies gone, the centers “could draw a line and say they simply don’t have the resources to serve any more people,” Dan Hawkins, policy director of the National Association of Community Health Centers, told the publication.
Many FQHC’s have already been hit by declines in state funding.
“More broadly, a ruling striking down the subsidies would set back many years of efforts by presidents and congressional leaders of both parties to expand healthcare access to low-income Americans through community health centers,” Modern Healthcare said.
But the direness of the situation and its political heat could ironically lead to the long-term effect of a single-payer system like Medicare being extended to everyone.