(Host) Senator Bernie Sanders says a new academic study shows the benefits of investing in community health centers.
George Washington University examined how investments in the centers affects health care.
Sanders says researchers found that a plan to invest $11 billion in community health centers will save $180 billion during the next decade.
(Sanders) "What common sense suggests is when you give access to people at a much more cost effective way to see a doctor and when you keep them healthy rather than seeing them get very, very sick and need tens of thousands of dollars to care for them in a hospital, it adds up to real money."
(Host) The savings includes $50 billion in federal Medicaid spending and more than $30 billion in reduced state Medicaid spending.
The new investment by the federal government is expected to double the number of people the centers serve during the next decade, to about 18 million.
Sanders says Vermont will benefit from that investment.
(Sanders) "My dream and what I’ve been working very hard on with communities all over the state is to see we have a community health center, which means good quality primary health care, dental care, low-cost prescription drugs, mental health counseling, in every single area of the state. And that will mean for all intents and purposes, you will have affordable, universal primary health care in the state of Vermont."
(Host) There are already eight centers in Vermont with 40 satellite offices. They now serve more than 100,000 patients. That’s more per capita than in any other state in the country. Sanders hopes two more centers will open in the state.