Health care reform is coming to town: Congressman Mike Thompson today announced that Open Door Community Health Centers will receive $9.8 million in federal funding to build a new facility in Eureka. The money stems from the federal Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in March and is aimed at curtailing insurance industry abuses and expanding coverage for families, seniors and small businesses.
Open Door Chief Executive Officer Hermann Spetzler said in a press release that all of Humboldt County will benefit from the new, state-of-the-art facility, which he said will be "a giant step toward improving access to primary care."
Thompson weighed in, saying that the funds "will go a long way to create jobs, provide quality health care, and expand access in our community, something that's especially important to families in rural areas like ours."
The remainder of the press release:
Designed in cooperation with LACO Associates of Eureka, the facility will be an example of smart design, energy efficiency and patient comfort. "We believe this clinic will be a model for health care in terms of design, services and quality long into the future," concludes Spetzler.
"Open Door has been a great asset to our community, and building a new clinic is good for Eureka," said 4th District Supervisor Bonnie Neely. "The expanded clinic will reach more seniors, children and families and provide employment opportunity in the health care professions. The construction phase will bring good-paying jobs and be a boost to our economy."
Open Door provides care to more than 40,000 Humboldt and Del Norte County residents every year. Open Door is a Federally Qualified Health Center receiving about 10 percent of its budget from the Health Resources and Services Administration to provide care to low income and uninsured individuals. Open Door offers medical, dental and mental health services.
The Affordable Care Act is comprehensive health care reform designed to provide quality care for families, seniors, and small businesses, prohibit coverage denial to individuals with pre-existing conditions and invest in health care infrastructure and innovation. The bill is paid for and will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over 10 years, and $1.3 trillion over 20 years. In California's First District alone, it will improve coverage for 395,000 residents who already have health insurance by prohibiting annual and lifetime limits on care, making sure insurance companies can't drop people from coverage if they get sick, ban coverage denials for pre-existing conditions, and reduce the cost of preventive care.