Health Care Bill To Fund Construction, Land Buys Too

Who knew that the proposed Senate health care Bill would include provisions and funding to increase access to health care through school-based health centers. Yet nestled deep within the bowels of that Bill lies the plan to spend millions more on construction, even land purchases, enabling additional access to the proposed national health care system. I suppose our hospitals, medical centers, doctors’ offices, and clinics just don’t provide enough for all of us. Now, it appears that taxpayers will be funding the purchase of more government land and construction so that America can have school-based health centers in and near schools.

In Title IV Section 4101: School-based Health Centers, Subsection B "Increasing Access to Clinical Preventive Services", the proposed Senate bill establishes the criteria for grants to be funneled into Medicaid-populated regions of America. These grants are to purchase land, buildings, renovations, or other construction. Construction equipment might be purchased with these funds too. Medical services are funded under different grants.

Refer to page 1156-1160 of the proposed Senate Bill for Section 4101, (a)(3) PREFERENCE and (a)(4) LIMITATIONS for the governmentese. What I learned was that grants for the establishment of school-based health care centers will be directed towards regions in America where eligible children who qualify for Medicaid is most prevalent. The grants are to be used in (1) acquisition of land and/or (2)construction, improvement, remodeling, expansion, replacement of buildings or (3) equipment (4) similar expenses. These grants do not include health services, payments for staff. medical procedures, or medical equipment, only construction-related costs.

Appropriations for 2010 through 2013: $50 MILLION per year. Why does this appear like an earmark?

The school-based health centers would provide basic physical and mental health services, including substance abuse services and counseling. Nothing that is any different than the services provided for at a doctor’s office. These services would be exclusive, though, restricted to children and adolescents. These services would be conducted during school hours, or 24-coverage on-call services.

POINT: Why would health care funds be required to establish additional health care centers, limited to school-age children? The Senate Bill was written to address a national health care system and America has sufficient real property, health centers/clinics, and medical offices without adding to the taxpayer burden of additional purchases and construction projects. Through this Bill, all people will be covered for health care and the need for new health centers centering around schools would be duplicitous (which is something this Bill claims it will avoid).

POINT: Since these services are centered around schools, will these centers also be constructed for private and religious schools?