Health Brigade resources stretched thin over Affordable Care Act uncertainty

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As tensions between President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey make headlines this week, questions remain about a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Health Brigade, formerly known as Fan Free Clinic, tells 8News it is already treating more patients without insurance.

It anticipates even greater demands at its free medical and mental health clinics.

“People who live in high violence areas, people who are traumatized, people who struggling with poverty and food insecurity, people who have mental health issues, people who have English language issues, the need goes on and on,” explains Health Brigade Medical Director, Dr. Wendy Klein.

Dr. Klein says just about every free clinic is currently in the same situation, and they are bracing for even more limited resources as people contemplate where they will turn for healthcare.

“We are seeing many people, and we are all asking that question because we don’t know what to expect,” she says. “We do know there will be more people who can’t access care.”

President Donald Trump and GOP leaders insisted Tuesday the Senate will vote soon on legislation to repeal and replace the ACA, which is also known as ‘Obamacare.’

However, even as senators head towards the make-or-break vote before the Fourth of July, deep uncertainty remains about whether the emerging legislation would command enough support to pass.

Read more about the status of a repeal here.

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