Haven Health Clinics remains open despite federal funding cuts - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Haven Health Clinics remains open despite federal funding cuts

Amarillo, TX - Haven Health Clinics provides health care for about 6,500 area women every year - and by sheer luck, those women will still be taken care of.

Earlier this week, the federal government announced its unprecedented decision to pull family planning funds from the Texas State Department of Health Services, which is in turn the main source of funding for free and low-cost clinics. And in a stroke of remarkable good fortune, our own local clinic will still get the federal dollars it needs to serve our community.

For more than 40 years, the DHS has been the sole recipient and distributor of Title X funds for family planning services in Texas.  But after last year's legal brouhaha between Governor Perry, Planned Parenthood, and the federal government over Medicaid funding and the strings attached to it, Washington decided to circumvent the DHS entirely and instead awarded a grant to the Women's Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, a statewide consortium of providers that fortunately happens to include Haven Health Clinics.  CEO Carolena Cogdill says without that funding, thousands of women would not have access to many vital health services.

"The birth control and the education that we do is so important," says Cogdill, "because there would be so many women who would not be able to afford birth control if we didn't have the Title X money, the family planning money, or the Women's Health Program, because healthcare is expensive."

WHFPAT operates 121 clinics statewide, and without those clinics, many uninsured Texas women would have few options for care - and that means taxpayers would end up with a much higher bill.

"It costs a whole lot more for them to go to the emergency room and get care there, which is where they go if they can't get care anyplace else," explains Cogdill, "so it would be more expensive for the taxpayer for them to receive care from something like that than for them to come here and get care here."

Texas has the highest rate of uninsured women in the nation, with fully one third of women right here in Potter County lacking health insurance. 

If you'd like to learn more about the funding process, the Women's Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, or Title X funding in Texas, follow the links attached to this story.

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