(Fordland,Mo.--02/06/18) Health clinics in the Ozarks that provide free and low cost health care are facing the potential loss of funding if congress doesn’t take action.
Tammie Donahoo is one of the many residents who relies on Fordland Clinic and says she doesn't know what he would do without its services.
"Without them I just wouldn’t be able to go anywhere to the doctor, I don’t have insurance and I’ve had a couple of bad back injuries. explains Tammie.
Health centers are able to accept all types of insurance, and even patients who don’t have insurance. The reason they’re able to? federal funding, but that could be in jeopardy for people like Tammie.
"It’s very frustrating you know they play around with those bills and they add things in and take things out and to me you know we need healthcare."
Forland Clinic is one of more than 200 sites in Missouri that were hoping for renewed funding at the beginning of this month but are instead still waiting on congress to re authorize the community health centers fund program that expired on September 30 and the money will run out on March 31st.
Joan Twiton, Executive Director for Fordland Clinic. She tells FOX5," without that funding it would be a very detrimental to all of the services that we can provide.
About $800,000 thousand and 20% of it’s annual operating budget is at risk if the funding is not resorted. The clinic serves as the family doctor for more than 5,000 residents.
"This is uncharted territory. We’ve always gotten close to this point in the past with budget issues but it’s never gotten to this point that it’s at now so it’s certainly a concern for all of the executive directors because we do provide services to patients who may not get the services elsewhere."
Because of uncertainty over funding, Twiton says they have imposed a plan.
"What would happen if our funding was cut or if our funding was reduced and we are definitely looking at any purchases that were making, and holding off on anything major."
Congress has until February 8th to strike another deal or the government shuts down again. If a deal is made, those at the clinic hope they’re included.