By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog
Missouri’s health centers will get nearly $3 million from the federal government to hire workers to enroll clients in Obamacare.
The U.S. Health Resources and Service Administration announced 22 awards to the Show-Me State totaling $2,947,351. That money is expected to fund the hiring of 59 additional employees, who will assist more than 62,000 residents “into affordable health insurance coverage,” the agency said in a news release.
Missouri has 23 centers, with 196 sites that served more than 438,000 patients in 2012, said HRSA, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly 35 percent of those patients are uninsured.
The largest grants will go to Grace Hill Health Center, Inc. in St. Louis ($358,882) and Swope Health Services in Kansas City ($289,538).
“Investing in health centers means that people in neighborhoods and towns across the country have one more resource to help them understand their insurance options and enroll in affordable coverage,” said HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the release.
In all, HRSA is giving out $150 million in grants to 1,159 health centers across the United States to enroll uninsured Americans.
Ben Domenech, research fellow at the conservative Heartland Institute, told Watchdog.org’s Virginia bureau that the move may be more political than prescriptive.
“They’re going to use this money to hire Obamacare promoters, who will push people who come through their doors to sign up for taxpayer-subsidized coverage, whether through Medicaid, CHIP or the (private insurance) exchanges,” he said.