(Host) President Barack Obama is praising Senator Bernie Sanders’ efforts to expand community health centers across the country.
Sanders joined the president at a White House ceremony, where Mr. Obama announced that the Community Health Center in Burlington has been awarded a nearly eleven million dollar grant to expand its operations.
(Obama) "I also want to thank the many members of Congress who are with us today, both in the audience and up on the stage, particularly Bernie Sanders and Rep. Jim Clyburn. We are grateful to all of them."
(Host) The community health centers offer primary care and dental and mental health services to their patients. The president says these centers provide essential services in a cost effective setting.
(Obama) "Studies show that people living near a health center are less likely to go to the emergency room and less likely to have unmet critical medical needs. CHCs are proven to reduce ethnic and racial disparities in care. And the medical expenses of regular CHC patients are nearly 25 percent lower than those folks who get their care elsewhere – 25 percent lower."
(Host) Following the ceremony, Sanders said that community centers are the best way to provide access to health care for low and middle income people. Vermont now has eight centers with 40 satellite offices.
(Sanders) "Who are now providing care to something like 110,000 Vermonters. And that is sliding scale care. They welcome Medicaid, Medicare, private insurance. They’re doing a great job. And Vermont, I think now, as I understand it, has the highest percentage of people in community health centers than any state in the country."
(Host) The Burlington grant is part of a $525 million national program to increase the capacity of community health centers throughout the country.