WHEELING - The expansion of the Medicaid in West Virginia announced Thursday by Gov. Earl Tomblin shouldn't affect day-to-day operations at free health care providers such as Wheeling Health Right, according to Executive Director Kathie Brown.
Free clinics, though, still are trying to determine how the federal health care reform slated to go into affect next year will affect them, she continued.
"I don't honestly know" how it will affect Wheeling Health Right, she said. "I'm sure it will help with people who have children, but nobody knows the full extent as to how it will affect free clinics. In the end, we still believe there will a need for free clinics. That won't change a lot. We will still be providing services, though we might be looking a differently," she said.
The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics says there is a common misconception that after full implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act free and reduced care won't be needed. The organization estimates as many as 29 million across America who will not be eligible for Medicaid or have access to health care - but many of these persons are undocumented workers, or residents of states where the Medicaid program will not be expanded.