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Bail out local health clinics

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 8/3/09

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Invest in local health programs

Congress bailed out the banks, Wall Street, and some of the "too big to fail" corporations and industries. Banks are posting profits and Wall Street is recovering. Consumers are saving cash instead of spending. It's time to focus on saving Main street.

If the Federal government can invest in GM, by betting on new technology yet to be developed, they can certainly invest in local health clinics that are open and functioning today.

With passage of funding for a new care health system, Congress has the opportunity to help the cities who are bearing the brunt of the economic downturn, due to falling property taxes, by funding the local health clinics supported by local governments.

Don't build any new hospitals, schools or clinics, just fund the ones that are open and functioning now. Avoid start-up costs or delays. Put them under a medicare program or partner with the cities to manage them, but keep them open and functioning.

There obviously aren't that many shovel-ready jobs waiting for funds to start. Increase the flow of bailout money by hiring medical practitioners, in-home support for disabled people, financing local school lunch programs, dental clinics (always the first to go), diagnostic programs, and prescription drug programs.

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You can stretch the health care financing by using some of the bailout money now to set up those programs. Whatever you do, don't rely on the states to channel the money to local governments. Go directly to the local recipients. The states will take their "administrative middle man" cut and use the federal funds to rationalize cutting their support to the cities, as the State of California is threatening to do now.

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Bail out Local Health Clinics

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