Healthcare reform's impact on free clinics yet to come

By Emily Luxen

PELHAM, AL (WBRC) - Some free health clinics in the Birmingham metro area are weary of how the healthcare reform will impact their operations.

President Obama signed historic health care legislation into law on March 23, and says it will ensure 32 million additional Americans will have health insurance.

At the Community of Hope Health Clinic in Pelham, Executive Director Chris Monceret said they will continue to operate like normal, but monitor the situation.

"I'm trying not to get concerned about the impact on our clinic," said Monceret, "A lot of it won't be implemented until 2014. Also, there is so much controversy and so much uncertainty about it, i'm not getting worried about it."

Nurses who volunteer at the clinic say it would be a great situation if every American had health insurance, but they feel confident there will always be people who fall through the cracks, who would benefit from a free clinic.

"I think that there will be people who will be in need," said volunteer nurse Janis Spencer, "It is hard to say what will happen with health insurance and health care bill, but there are always needy people and we are glad to help them."

The Community of Hope Health Clinic is open Thursdays from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.

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