The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC) released a statement this week detailing the focus of the organization on supporting the nation's medically underserved and working to enhance the accessibility, affordability and portability of health care in the United States.
This statement comes after President Trump recently addressed Congress and the nation, calling on Congress to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), followed by the introduction of ACA Repeal/Repair legislation from the House of Representatives this week.
"While the political officials and pundits discuss at length the pros and cons of the new repeal, replace or rebuild package, our organization and our members remain committed to providing health care to the medically underserved throughout the country," said Nicole Lamoureux, NAFC CEO. "We are frustrated that the legislation introduced does nothing to address the needs of the approximately 29 million people that still remained uninsured and without access to affordable health care, but instead will likely result in an even larger number of people becoming uninsured and lacking access to crucial health care services."
Annually, 1.7 million people through 5.9 million patient visits receive health care at America's 1,200 Free and Charitable Clinics. This is accomplished by dedicated staff and over 160,000 volunteers, including 30,000 medical providers, 21,000 nurses and almost 71,000 non-medical volunteers. Free and Charitable Clinics focus on the overall needs of patients by providing a wide array of services including medical, dental, pharmaceutical, behavioral health, vision, and health education services and ensuring that uninsured and underinsured Americans have a medical home.
"Our members have continued to see a steady number of patients even with the ACA implementation; with this new bill we are concerned that the number of medically underserved throughout the country will increase dramatically past the current capabilities of our clinics," said Lamoureux. "As we share the beliefs and priorities of our organization, it is our hope that Congress and the current administration will work with the NAFC and our members to ensure that the voices of the medically underserved and of Free and Charitable Clinics and Charitable Pharmacies across the nation are heard and included in these important conversations."
To view the full statement and list of NAFC beliefs and priorities, visit http://www.nafcclinics.org/blog.
About the Organization:
The NAFC is the only nonprofit 501c(3) organization whose mission is solely focused on the issues and needs of the medically underserved throughout the nation and the more than 1,200 Free and Charitable Clinics that serve them. Founded in 2001 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., the NAFC is working to ensure that the medically underserved have access to affordable quality health care and strives to be a national voice promoting quality health care for all. The organization believes that access to health care should be a right, not a privilege, and it values volunteerism, community ownership, service and collaboration.