Lawmakers look to free clinics as health care solution
CLEARWATER - When Janice Turner gets her blood pressure taken at the free clinic here or Joshua Canny sees a doctor for a swollen throat, they could be doing more than finding an affordable solution to their health care woes.
They could be helping Florida deal with its budget woes.
With a dwindling pool of state money available to cover the uninsured, lawmakers are increasingly turning one of the lowest-cost options of all: charity clinics.
At more than 100 clinics across the state, low-income Floridians can receive health care for much less than it would cost to buy insurance, often for free or a small donation.
"We understand that there is a need in our community and we need to provide access, and these clinics provide service that unfortunately is not being provided by others in our state," Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, said.
With budget negotiations between the House and Senate about to begin, the role of the clinics has been thrust into the spotlight.