Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-5) visited the South Cove Community Health Center to tour the new facility, meet with providers and staff, and discuss the U.S. House of Representative’s recent actions to defend health care coverage against Republican attacks. The Congresswoman’s visit was part of a national “Health Care Weekend of Action” that over 140 members of Congress participated in from June 14 to June 17, 2019. “The House is advancing critical, lifesaving legislation to lower the cost of health care and the price of prescription drugs and protect people with pre-existing conditions,” said Congresswoman Clark. “Community Health Centers like South Cove witness the importance of affordable and accessible care every day. The House is using every tool we have to invest in health care services, like Medicare, Medicaid, and Title X while standing up to the President’s attacks on affordable care, which will take services away from our neediest families. Massachusetts declared long ago that health care is a right, not a privilege, and now we’re proactively defending that right.”
This weekend, Democrats elevated the issue across America with the Health Care Weekend of Action, highlighting the ten bills already passed by the House that are awaiting a vote by the U.S. Senate. On the first day in the House majority, Democrats voted to throw the full legal weight of the House of Representatives against President Trump’s lawsuit to strike down protections for people with pre-existing conditions along with every last benefit and protection of the Affordable Care Act. In the months since, Democrats have continued to pass vital legislation to strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions and to combat Trump Administration’s junk plans and ACA sabotage.
“I really would like to thank Congresswoman Clark for coming to Malden, seeing our health center, and also for fighting for all residents of Massachusetts for health care coverage,” said Eugene Welch, CEO, South Cove Community Health Center.
South Cove Community Center runs five clinics in the Greater Boston area with over 250 employees, serving approximately 32,000 patients annually. They are now the largest Asian community health center in Massachusetts with new and expanded clinics in Boston (Chinatown & South Street), Quincy and Malden. The Malden Clinic was opened in June of 2018 and provides Adult Medicine, Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, Optometry and Social Services. The President’s recent attacks on the Title X family planning grant as well as the ACA would directly impact their access to federal funding. “Federal funds allow us to keep 20 fulltime certified application counselors so that 24,000 patients a year are able to access health care at South Cove Community Health Center,” said Frances Ma, Site Manager of South Cove Malden.
Massachusetts community health centers care for 988,000 patients of all ages and racial and ethnic backgrounds and represent a major source of care for medically underserved women and children. In 2016, 24% of the state’s health center patients were women of child-bearing age (15-44), 23% were children under 18 years of age and 11% were over 65. Forty-four percent were insured through Medicaid, 31% had subsidized and private coverage, another 10% were Medicare beneficiaries and nearly 14% remained uninsured. Forty-two percent were better served in a language other than English.