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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Three Community Health Centers To Open

Three new community health centers will soon be opening in Vermont under a plan sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders.

The three centers are being funded by a $2.4 million grant program that’s included in the Affordable Care Act. The new centers will be located in Arlington, Bristol and Randolph.

The state has eight Community Health Centers already in place and they currently provide medical services to over 130,000 people.

The new centers are expected to provide health care to an additional 33,000 Vermonters.

Sanders notes that many parts of the state don’t have enough primary care physicians and he says the Community Health Centers will provide those services – as well as the lowest cost prescription drugs in Vermont:

“So if you need to get to a doctor when you are sick, this is going to give you the opportunity to walk in the door when you have to go to the doctor and I think it is just a huge step forward for primary health care in the state of Vermont,” said Sanders.

Sanders added that centers provide health care to both insured and uninsured Vermonters.

“You can walk in the door without any health insurance and you can get treatment based on a sliding scale,” said Sanders. “If you have Medicaid, if you have Medicare, if you have private insurance you are also welcome and in many of the regions of the state the truth is the Community Health Centers in Vermont provide health care to all people regardless of their income.” 

The Vermont grant is part of a national expansion of the Community Health Center program. In addition to the three new centers in Vermont, another 233 Centers will be created across the country under the program.

Bob Kinzel has been covering the Vermont Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. With his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series, "Ask Bob."
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