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A $10 billion investment in community health centers, expected to go to $14 billion when Congress completes work on health care reform legislation, was included in a final series of changes to the Senate bill unveiled today.
The provision, which would provide primary care for 25 million more Americans, was requested by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
He said the additional resources will help bring about a revolution in primary health care in America and create new or expanded health centers in an additional 10,000 communities. The provision would also provide loan repayments and scholarships through the National Health Service Corps to create an additional 20,000 primary care doctors, dentists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and mental health professionals.
Very importantly, Sanders also said the provision would save Medicaid tens of billions of dollars by keeping patients out of emergency rooms and hospitals by providing primary care when then needed it.