Even with the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans still lack health insurance. For them, safety net clinics are a lifeline. These clinics provide primary care for anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Today there are federally-funded clinics in 21 Kansas counties, but as Bryan Thompson explains, there soon could be more.
Listen to Aileen LeBlanc's full report on how the Affordable Care Act could get people the health care they need before it turns into a life-threatening situation.
The Affordable Care Act may make it easier to get preventative care for many people who may now be using the emergency room. People who put off getting check-ups and tests for minor issues can find themselves with a serious illness. Even a bad tooth, if it is ignored, can manifest into a life-threatening situation.
Joseph Akif, director of nursing for emergency services at Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita, says that when the economic crisis hit in 2008, the emergency department saw an increase in these kinds of patients.