The Obama administration is injecting another half-billion dollars into community health centers across the country, which are facing growing demands under ObamaCare.
The government-backed health centers, which have expanded massively under the Affordable Care Act, have been put into a new political context this summer as Republicans in Congress try to defund Planned Parenthood. Republicans are arguing that the 1,300 community health centers nationwide could absorb the millions of women who could lose their doctors if Planned Parenthood loses its federal or state funding.
“It would be much less emotional for everyone if we just funded community health centers and didn’t fund Planned Parenthood,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has vocally called for Planned Parenthood to lose its funding, said last month.
Supporters of Planned Parenthood have fought back that community health centers are not an alternative, in part because the centers cannot handle a sharp uptick in patients if Planned Parenthood clinics were to close.
The $500 million in grants announced Tuesday are specifically devoted to primary care, which can be used to expand services from oral health to vision care.
The grants can also be used to help people sign up for ObamaCare. Over the last two years, health centers have helped 12 million people sign up, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.