"This is federal dollars very well spent, and $3.6 billion is hardly a big federal expenditure," said Peter Shin, an associate professor of health policy and management at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. "In fact, there's a strong argument for why they should get more money."
Shin said research shows the centers save the federal government money in the long run. They do this by providing routine primary, preventive and prenatal care that keeps people out of the hospital and prevents costly emergency room visits.
By one estimate, he said, health centers save the federal government almost $25 billion annually in deterred costs for Medicare and Medicaid enrollees.
(Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.)
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