Health Center News, Uncategorized

Hard Times for the Uninsured in Tar Heel State

By Amy Simmons

While the health care reform debate continues on Capitol Hill, in the so-called  Triangle-area of North Carolina  providers are struggling with a growing population of uninsured residents in need of care.   A recent broadcast by NBC17, a local affiliate, spotlighted the struggles of recession casualties seeking care at  Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham, where financial counselor Diana Rodriguez has seen a dramatic increase of uninsured over the past few months.

“I’ve been working here 11 years,” she told the reporter.   “In the last three to four months, there are so many people that have come in and tell us they have just lost their job. A lot of them had high-paying jobs and lost their insurance.”

The health center, run by stalwart health center advocate Evelyn Schmidt, MD, is the safety net for most Durham residents without insurance.  Last year,  78 percent of its 36,091 patients were uninsured. Nationally, health centers have seen over 7 million uninsured patients since the start of 2009.  You can watch/read the broadcast about Lincoln here.