KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

White House Announces $600 Million For Community Health Centers, Medical Records

The White House announced Wednesday it would spend $600 million to build and enhance community health centers and medical records.

The Associated Press: "The administration plans to give almost $509 million to repair, rebuild or replace federally designated community health centers. From coast to coast, the centers serve more than 17 million patients -- about 40 percent of whom have no health insurance. As much as $88 million more will go to health care facilities to transfer their medical records to electronic format and to upgrade technologies, according to figures provided ahead of a scheduled afternoon announcement. ... Obama also asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to begin a three-year trial on how to improve care for Medicare patients at community health centers. The administration anticipates as many as 500 health centers would participate" (Elliott, 12/9).

Reuters/The Washington Post reports that the designated money came from "the $787 billion economic stimulus plan to help create jobs at 85 community health centers. Obama is under heavy pressure to generate job growth in the United States, with the November unemployment rate at 10 percent. ... The funds are expected not only to create new jobs in construction and health care, but also to help provide care for more than 500,000 additional patients in underserved communities, the White House said" (Holland, 12/9).

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