$25 Million Flowing to Vermont’s Health Care Centers

Bernie Buzz Original Article

Health Care, By the Numbers
• 13 billion - The total amount of money secured by Sanders in the new health care law and federal stimulus package to double the number of Americans treated at health centers throughout the U.S.
• 40 million - The number of Americans that will receive health care at community health centers after the number of sites are doubled to 15,000.
• 96.5 - The percent of the $11.3 million expansion of the Community Health Center of Burlington that was paid for with federal stimulus dollars.
• 8 - Number of federally-qualified health centers in Vermont now.
• 2 - Number of federally-qualified health centers in Vermont eight years ago.
• 112,000 - The number of Vermonters estimated to get their primary care from community health care facilities at 41 health center sites.

“Our health care system has enormous problems. One of the most serious is the lack of primary health care.  From one end of America to the other, millions of people are unable to find a doctor or dentist when they need one most,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said. “The result is that they become sicker than they should be or in the emergency room at great expense.”

“The good news is, in Vermont, we are making progress,” he said.

Millions of dollars – more than $25 million, so far – are flowing to Vermont’s health centers through both the federal stimulus program and the new health reform law.

Community health centers in Springfield, Plainfield and Richford were awarded $4.3 million for new construction projects in the first round of grants under the new health reform law. That funding was part of $727 million awarded to 143 community health centers nationwide.  The projects are expected to create 27 construction-related and health center jobs in Vermont. 

Sanders fought for $11 billion in The Affordable Care Act to double the number of health center sites to 15,000 and double to 40 million the number of patients served nationwide during the next five years.  The health centers are expected to reduce total national medical costs by more than $180 billion over the next decade. 

Another $21 million in stimulus funds are being used to expand the services and facilities at the 41 sites operated by the eight federally-qualified health centers in Vermont so that all Vermonters can have access to high-quality primary health care.  Today, these centers serve over 108,000 Vermonters.  Ground was recently broken on a new facility in Burlington, Vt., that is expected to increase the number of patients it can see by 25 percent, from 13,000 to more than 16,500.  To read more, click here.

“A week after breaking ground on the new health center in Burlington, it is extremely exciting to see expansion projects approved for Springfield, Richford and Plainfield,” Sanders said. “This will create jobs in the short term, but most importantly it will improve access to affordable primary health care, dental care, mental health care and low-cost prescription drugs.”

The senator said he was determined to continue expanding the number of community health centers in Vermont, noting applications are being worked on in Addison and Bennington counties.