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After the Trump assassination attempt, defining democracy gets even harder; Trump picks Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, a once-fierce critic turned loyal ally, as his GOP running mate; DC residents push back on natural gas infrastructure buildup; and a new law allows youth on Medi-Cal to consent to mental health treatment.

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Former President Trump is injured but safe after an attempted assassination many condemn political violence. Democrats' fears intensify over Biden's run. And North Carolina could require proof of citizenship to vote.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Troubles in Congress could impact health-care access for Coloradans

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Tuesday, November 7, 2023   

Colorado's community health centers that serve all patients regardless of their ability to pay are already one month into their new fiscal year. But Congress has yet to approve their annual funding.

Stephanie Einfeld, CEO of Northwest Colorado Health, which serves rural residents at sites in Craig and Steamboat Springs, said the high quality of medical, behavioral, dental and other care provided by health centers is at risk. They need federal dollars in order to avoid reduced hours of operation and waitlists for care.

"To continue to do what we do, we need federal support," she stressed. "Our legislators need to hear that. And they need to prioritize, first, to continue our federal funding, and then to increase our federal funding."

Unlike most other businesses facing rising labor and other costs, she said federally qualified health centers cannot pass those expenses along to patients. Health centers disproportionately serve Medicaid patients, and are especially vulnerable to rising uncompensated care costs after continuous coverage ended earlier this year, a move projected to leave 325,000 Coloradans without insurance.

Health centers have multiple sources of revenues, including patient billing and grants.

Dr. Simon Hambidge, chief ambulatory officer with Denver Health, said federal funding is significant, and health centers have had strong bipartisan support for more than 60 years. Frequently, the largest employers in the communities they serve, health centers create over 11,000 jobs in Colorado.

"The total economic impact of health-center operations in Colorado is calculated to be over $1.7 billion. And the tax revenues that are generated by health centers in their communities is over $1.2 billion," Hambidge said.

Community health centers also do what seems beyond the reach of virtually all other aspects of the nation's health-care system: save taxpayers money. Last year, it's estimated that health centers in Colorado saved the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services more than $15 million serving nearly 14,000 patients.

"There is a documented return on investment from health centers. Health centers save Medicaid 24% of total costs for every Medicaid patient that is seen," Hambidge continued.


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"I truly love our Country, and love you all, and look forward to speaking to our Great Nation this week from Wisconsin," wrote Former President Donald Trump on social media. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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