Indecision On ObamaCare Is Costing Franklin County's Free Clinic

Rocky Mount, VA - A local free clinic faces major issues related to the Affordable Care Act.

Starting on October 1, you'll have to prove to the government that you have signed up for enough health care to satisfy the Affordable Health Care Act.

Unfortunately, many like Gerry Brown are left confused.

"Pretty much everything seems to be up in the air on where we're going to go with anything," said Brown.

Unemployed and uninsured, Brown for now relies of the Free Clinic of Franklin County for his minimum care, but has no idea what moving into this new era will mean for him and he's concerned.

"Absolutely. I mean it should concern everybody.... 'cause it affects everybody," said Brown.

The free clinic itself says they believe the confusion has people thinking the feds are stepping in with bundles of cash.

That's driving down donations and leaving them with a $90,000 shortfall this year alone, the clinic says.

"The more information our funding sources are getting about the Affordable Care Act... I think that does have a correlation on the decreased amount of funds we are receiving," said the clinic's executive director, Alise Culbertson.

The clinic's administration also believes the uncertainty has, at the same time, driven up patient numbers.

To make matters worse, the General Assembly can't decide whether to expand Medicaid or not. They likely won't until December which is halfway through the signup period.

"We're going to have to re look at some of our policies just to see how we can help the people who aren't going to be able to be served by this type of program. But again... we're all just waiting to see," said Culbertson.

The experts say that if Medicaid isn't expanded the poorest will suffer most.

Approving the expansion would give 400,000 less fortunate Virginians access to the system. 80% of the Free Clinic of Franklin County's nearly 1,000 patients would qualify.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off