Pa. Senate approves health care clinic grants

(abc27) A bill to increase the development and expansion of community-based health care clinics has unanimously passed the Pennsylvania Senate.

The legislation, Senate Bill 5, now goes to Governor Tom Corbett, who included a $4 million appropriation for the program in his 2013-14 budget proposal. The measure won unanimous approval in the House of Representatives last week.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Ted Erickson (R-Delaware), said his legislation will expand access to primary and preventative care across the state by providing funding for nurse-managed clinics, volunteer clinics and hospital-based clinics.

“Clinics deliver high-quality and cost-effective primary health care regardless of patients’ insurance status or ability to pay,” Erickson said. “They also help cut overall health care costs by reducing the number of expensive emergency room visits and avoidable hospital admissions.”

Erickson said the new federal health care law will provide subsidies to citizens to purchase health insurance, but those people will not be able to get the care they need without the capacity in the health care system.

“Senate Bill 5 will foster the development and expansion of clinics in our state so that the newly insured can easily obtain quality care,” he said.