WASHINGTON May 9 The Obama administration said
on Thursday it is making $150 million available to community
health centers to enroll uninsured Americans in healthcare
coverage under President Barack Obama's reform law.
The new funds would help about 1,200 health centers hire and
train staff, conduct community outreach efforts and assist
consumers in applying for benefits under the law, which provides
coverage through subsidized insurance markets and an expansion
of the Medicaid program for the poor, the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services said.
The announcement comes at a time when reform advocates
including Democrats in Congress are expressing concern about the
success of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,
including whether enough people will sign up for coverage.
The health centers operate nearly 9,000 service delivery
sites nationwide and serve approximately 21 million patients
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
said the initiative provides a new avenue of outreach, on top of
a recently announced program to hire and train counselors known
as "navigators" to help enroll the uninsured. There are about 49
million uninsured Americans.