For 24 years, Arlington Free Clinic has been serving a vital role in the community by providing high-quality health care to low-income individuals who lack health insurance and have difficulty accessing care. Currently, approximately 400,000 Virginians, including 11,000 low-income Arlington adults are still without health insurance, even after the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Although the outcome is unclear at the time of this publication, the Virginia General Assembly is currently debating expansion of Medicaid, the government funded health insurance program for low-income children and adults. Although Medicaid expansion would extend coverage to many uninsured Virginians, it will not cover everyone and every service. Arlington Free Clinic will be able to step in where Medicaid ends by accepting patients who don’t qualify for any insurance and by providing a range of services – such as specialty care, mental health, and dental care – that have limited or no coverage under Medicaid.
As this change in health policy could extend coverage to hundreds in the community, including some current AFC patients, we look forward to the opportunity to care for more of those who continue to lack access, and dream for the day when healthcare is no longer limited to those who can afford it.