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Federal health care funding for uninsured and low-income children set to expire this week

Sep 28, 2017 05:57AM ● Published by Editor

Nurse practitioner Jara Rice, right, examined patient Arthur Price Jr., 11.

Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, with three locations in Cook County, would lose up to $1 million for care for the uninsured, but it would result in service and staff cutbacks that will affect the entire community.

Congressional debate about Obamacare has delayed action on bills. Programs are set to end Saturday with the end of the fiscal year. 

Minnesota health advocates are closely watching for signs of progress in Washington on programs that underwrite care for the uninsured and for low-income children. Unless reauthorized and funded, both are set to end on Saturday when the federal fiscal year ends.

Although the Senate decided Tuesday not to vote on the Cassidy-Graham proposals that would have removed some consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act and cut back on the Medicaid program, congressional observers don’t expect these other health care programs to get legislative attention until October, creating uncertainty among health care providers as well leaving a hole in Minnesota’s state budget.

One of the programs on the block is CHIP, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which in Minnesota helps pay for the care of 125,000 children. Minnesota is projected to be the first state to run out of CHIP money — perhaps by the end of this week.

Minnesota children on the program will keep insurance coverage through Medicaid, but the state will lose $94 million in federal funds annually until the program is reauthorized.

“It is unfortunate that we are so down to the wire as this has been on folk’s radar for a significant time,” said Bharti Wahi, executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota. “Congress frankly has been distracted by efforts to repeal the ACA and they leave the CHIP language until the last possible moment.”

Medical assistant Fathia Salah, center, administered shots to patient Arthur Price, Jr., right, 11, as his brother Nehemiah Little, 8, left, looked on. Unless Congress acts, three key health care programs will lose funding, including $27 million that Minnesota clinics use to care for the uninsured.
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    Safety net clinics are also facing a loss of funds through a program that funnels $27 million to Minnesota for care for the uninsured.

    Minnesota’s congressional delegation has signed a letter of support for the safety net clinic renewal, and although a bill has been introduced in the House it has not left committee. CHIP has also enjoyed support from both parties. A bill in the Senate is still in committee, but its path to the floor is unclear.

    Since most safety net clinics operate on tight budgets, they are making contingency plans in case the funding stream runs dry. In most cases it would mean cutting back services, workers and entire clinic locations.

    “I still think we are confident that this is going to be solved, if for no other reason than this care is not going to go away,” said Steve Knutson, chief executive of Neighborhood HealthSource, which has three Minneapolis locations. “Most of this care will have to be provided and it will end up in the emergency room at three times the cost.”

    Safety net clinics, which have more than 70 locations scattered throughout the state, are also looking at another federal program that needs reauthorization this week. The National Health Service Corps program offers student loan repayments to new clinicians who agree to practice in underserved or rural locations. Many safety nets rely on the program to recruit and hire new staff.

    “We could not match the offers that are being made by the bigger health systems,” said Knutson. “The only thing I can counter with is loan repayments and that has been a pretty successful recruiting tool here.”

    Knutson is looking at a loss of $2 million without the funds. Although he has some time before the current grant expires, a permanent cut would result in cutbacks and even pulling back on a planned expansion of much needed dental care.

    Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, with three locations in Cook County, would lose up to $1 million for care for the uninsured, but it would result in service and staff cutbacks that will affect the entire community.

    “We are the only clinic that provides primary care,” said Rita Plourde, chief executive of the Grand Marais-based clinic. “There clearly is going to be a major impact going forward if Congress does not do its work.”

    Though no cuts have yet hit the safety net clinics, patients already say they’re concerned, especially given the wider debates about the future of health care.

    “There is a high degree of anxiety for staff and for some of our patients,” said Stella Whitney-West, CEO at NorthPoint Health & Wellness. “I think Congress understands that we are vital to the safety net and they have to continue to support the community health centers.”

    Community-University Health Care Center in Minneapolis is looking at potential a loss of about $700,000, which represents the amount it takes to serve 1,000 of the 11,000 patient visits it has each year.

    “We run on a shoestring budget, there’s not a lot of fat to cut,” said chief executive Colleen McDonald Diouf. “It feels like right now we are getting stuck in the chaos of all of the things that are happening.”

    Nate Beske, one of the clinic’s board members and patients, said he worries that the service cutbacks would touch someone like him, who came to the clinic 10 years ago after he completed treatment and sought mental health care.

    “It is very concerning. Traditionally, this has been a bipartisan issue,” Beske said. “I continue to go here because I not only believe in the mission but the quality of care I get here is second to none,” he said. “It breaks my heart that folks won’t get the same opportunity to bounce back like I did.”

     

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      05:30PM — 07:00PM

      Iyengar style yoga class for men interested in a well rounded yoga practice.


    • Ojibwe Language for Beginners

      01/30/2018
      05:30PM — 07:00PM

      January 9, 16, 23, 30. 5:30-7pm Cost:$80.00 This 4-session class will provide students with a ...


    • Intro/Beginning Iyengar Yoga at Cobblestone

      01/30/2018
      07:05PM — 08:20PM

      Class suited for introductory or beginning students. The basics of Iyengar style yoga will be tau...


    • Learn to Dance!

      01/30/2018
      07:15PM — 09:00PM

      Learn to waltz, two-step, foxtrot, and swing dance. Tuesdays at the 4-H Building, 7:15 to 9:00 PM...


    • The 100DayProject

      01/31/2018
      12:00AM — 12:00AM

      January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      01/31/2018
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • Anxiety/Depression Support Group for Women

      01/31/2018
      10:00AM — 11:00AM

      Weekly support group for women. $2.00 suggested donation. No registration required. Please joi...


    • Gentle Yoga at Cobblestone

      01/31/2018
      10:00AM — 11:30AM

      For all with health concerns such as arthritis, high blood pressure, pregnancy or those who just ...


    • First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, inviting community conversation… Aging...


    • 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine

      01/31/2018
      11:00AM

      1/2 Price Bottles of Wine


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      01/31/2018
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Creamy Chicken Casserole/Broccoli/Fruit/Milk


    • Women's Yoga at Cobblestone Cabins

      01/31/2018
      05:15PM — 07:00PM

      Continuing class for all women interested in Iyengar Yoga. Walk-ins allowed with permission from ...


    • Beginning Spanish

      01/31/2018
      05:30PM — 07:00PM

      January 17, 24, 31, & February 7, 2018 | 5:30PM-7PM START LEARNING SPANISH or HELP REGAIN LOS...


    • Beginning Spanish

      01/31/2018
      05:30PM — 07:00PM

      January 17, 24, 31 and February 7th on Wednesdays 5:30-7pm Focus on vacation and travel languag...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      01/31/2018
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for January 4 through February 15. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM ...


    • The 100DayProject

      02/01/2018
      12:00AM — 12:00AM

      January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


    • MOVE IT!

      02/01/2018
      12:00AM

      MOVE IT is about moving towards good health in lots of ways, including being physically active. ...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      02/01/2018
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • Lunch At the Senior Center

      02/01/2018
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Meatloaf/Baked Potato/Peas/Dessert/Milk


    • Alcoholics Anonymous

      02/01/2018
      06:30PM

      Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


    • Film Night at North House

      02/01/2018
      07:00PM — 09:00PM

      Winter Series returns every Thursday in February at North House with film nights. We’ll revisit f...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      02/01/2018
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for January 4 through February 15. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM ...


    • The 100DayProject

      02/02/2018
      12:00AM — 12:00AM

      January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


    • MOVE IT!

      02/02/2018
      12:00AM

      MOVE IT is about moving towards good health in lots of ways, including being physically active. ...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      02/02/2018
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      02/02/2018
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Brats/Sauerkraut/Mash Potato/Dessert/Milk


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      02/02/2018
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Brats/Sauerkraut/Mash Potato/Dessert/Milk


    • The 100DayProject

      02/03/2018
      12:00AM — 12:00AM

      January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


    • MOVE IT!

      02/03/2018
      12:00AM

      MOVE IT is about moving towards good health in lots of ways, including being physically active. ...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      02/03/2018
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • Voyageur Brewing Company Brewery Tour

      02/03/2018
      11:30AM — 12:30PM

      We offer tours on most Saturdays beginning at 11:30am but you need to reserve your space online i...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      02/03/2018
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for January 4 through February 15. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM ...


    • The 100DayProject

      02/04/2018
      12:00AM — 12:00AM

      January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


    • MOVE IT!

      02/04/2018
      12:00AM

      MOVE IT is about moving towards good health in lots of ways, including being physically active. ...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      02/04/2018
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • Alcoholics Anonymous

      02/04/2018
      06:30PM — 07:30PM

      Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and ho...


    • The 100DayProject

      02/05/2018
      12:00AM — 12:00AM

      January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


    • MOVE IT!

      02/05/2018
      12:00AM

      MOVE IT is about moving towards good health in lots of ways, including being physically active. ...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      02/05/2018
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • Band Instrument Drive

      02/05/2018
      08:00AM

      The Cook County School band is looking to expand our program and include all 5th graders. Current...


    • 1/2 Price Burgers!

      02/05/2018
      11:00AM — 09:00PM

      1/2 Price Burgers at Moguls Grille and Tap Room


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      02/05/2018
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Sloppy Joes/Baked Beans/Coleslaw/Fruit/Milk


    • Overeaters Anonymous

      02/05/2018
      04:15PM — 05:15PM

      Overeaters Anonymous is a fellowship of individuals who, through shared experience, strength and...


    • Co-Dependents Anonymous

      02/05/2018
      05:30PM

      Co-Dependents Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healt...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      02/05/2018
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for January 4 through February 15. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM ...


    • The 100DayProject

      02/06/2018
      12:00AM — 12:00AM

      January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


    • MOVE IT!

      02/06/2018
      12:00AM

      MOVE IT is about moving towards good health in lots of ways, including being physically active. ...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      02/06/2018
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • Story Time at the Library

      02/06/2018
      10:30AM — 11:15AM

      Every Tuesday, January 9-February 27, story times are open to all ages and feature songs and othe...


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      02/06/2018
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Soup/Sandwich/Dessert/Milk


    • Bible Prophecy

      02/06/2018
      04:00PM — 05:30PM

      National and International speakers presented by DVD. The DVDs will be shown at the Community Ce...


    • Kids Eat Free

      02/06/2018
      04:00PM — 09:00PM

      1 free kids meal with any paid adult meal Available after 4pm


    • Colvill All-Levels Yoga

      02/06/2018
      05:30PM — 06:30PM

      Join us for yoga. Vinyasa-style yoga set to world music. Come rest your mind and energize your ...


    • Men's Yoga at Cobblestone Cabins

      02/06/2018
      05:30PM — 07:00PM

      Iyengar style yoga class for men interested in a well rounded yoga practice.


    • Intro/Beginning Iyengar Yoga at Cobblestone

      02/06/2018
      07:05PM — 08:20PM

      Class suited for introductory or beginning students. The basics of Iyengar style yoga will be tau...


    • Learn to Dance!

      02/06/2018
      07:15PM — 09:00PM

      Learn to waltz, two-step, foxtrot, and swing dance. Tuesdays at the 4-H Building, 7:15 to 9:00 PM...


    • The 100DayProject

      02/07/2018
      12:00AM — 12:00AM

      January 21 - April 30, 2018 The 100DayProject is an effort to motivate participants to commit ...


    • MOVE IT!

      02/07/2018
      12:00AM

      MOVE IT is about moving towards good health in lots of ways, including being physically active. ...


    • Terra Bella Floral fall hours

      02/07/2018
      12:00AM

      Monday and Tuesday Noon to 5 Wednesday through Friday 10 to 4 Saturday 10 to 2 Sunday Closed


    • Anxiety/Depression Support Group for Women

      02/07/2018
      10:00AM — 11:00AM

      Weekly support group for women. $2.00 suggested donation. No registration required. Please joi...


    • Gentle Yoga at Cobblestone

      02/07/2018
      10:00AM — 11:30AM

      For all with health concerns such as arthritis, high blood pressure, pregnancy or those who just ...


    • 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine

      02/07/2018
      11:00AM

      1/2 Price Bottles of Wine


    • Lunch at the Senior Center

      02/07/2018
      12:00PM — 12:30PM

      Chef's Salad/Fruit/Dessert/Milk


    • Women's Yoga at Cobblestone Cabins

      02/07/2018
      05:15PM — 07:00PM

      Continuing class for all women interested in Iyengar Yoga. Walk-ins allowed with permission from ...


    • Beginning Spanish

      02/07/2018
      05:30PM — 07:00PM

      January 17, 24, 31, & February 7, 2018 | 5:30PM-7PM START LEARNING SPANISH or HELP REGAIN LOS...


    • Beginning Spanish

      02/07/2018
      05:30PM — 07:00PM

      January 17, 24, 31 and February 7th on Wednesdays 5:30-7pm Focus on vacation and travel languag...


    • Square Dance Lessons

      02/07/2018
      07:30PM — 09:00PM

      Modern Western Square Dance Schedule for January 4 through February 15. Time: 7:30 – 9:00 PM ...