SOURCE: ECHO

May 24, 2010 08:00 ET

Despite Reform, Triad Patients Still Need Free Clinics

23 Million to Remain Uninsured After Health Reform -- Charitable Clinics Fill the Gap, According to ECHO

WINSTON-SALEM, NC--(Marketwire - May 24, 2010) -  As consumers struggle to understand the impact of President Obama's health care legislation, charitable health care clinics in the Triad are seeing an increase in demand for their services. "The phone has been ringing off the hook," according to Sandy Motley, executive director of Davidson Medical Ministries in Lexington. The clinic has logged over 2,000 calls since January 2010 of people asking for assistance and information. "Our patients are confused and afraid about what this legislation will mean to their ability to come to the clinic for their health care."

While health care legislation has been passed, many provisions for the uninsured, such as the expansion of Medicaid, don't begin until 2014. And many North Carolinians need health services now.

There are currently 1.75 million non-elderly uninsured in North Carolina and more than 270,000 in the Triad, according to estimates from the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. 

And even after the current reform effort is fully implemented, there will still be millions of Americans without insurance coverage. "The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 23 million Americans will lack insurance in 2019," says John Mills, executive director of Empowering Church Healthcare Outreach (ECHO). "That's five years after key provisions of reform kick in. We have a significant need for charitable clinics today. That's not going away and neither are free clinics."

"We've been here for our neighbors in need for 19 years," says Motley. "And we'll be here as long as they need us."

About ECHO
ECHO's mission is to encourage, empower and equip churches to marshal volunteer and financial resources in developing 10,000 charitable community health care clinics by the year 2030 to serve 20 million of America's financially struggling men, women and children. ECHO provides no-cost consulting services and offers resources helpful to groups starting charitable clinics. ECHO is a nonprofit 501c3 corporation founded by the Nancy and John Snyder Foundation and designated by the IRS as a public charity. For more information about ECHO visit www.echoclinics.org

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    John Mills
    Executive Director
    ECHO
    Office 336-817-6990

    Sandy Motley
    Executive Director
    Davidson Medical Ministries
    www.davidsonmedicalministries.org
    Office: 336-243-7475