Community health clinics may loose half their funding - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Community health clinics may loose half their funding

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YAKIMA, Wash- The repeal of the candy and soda tax last month means less money for the state government.  Some groups that rely on that money are already taking a hit.  Monday community clinics throughout Washington found out that they may get half of their state-funding cut.  Most of the clientele of community clinics are the uninsured, people without many other options.

In a news release Wednesday the state health care authority reported that they will suspend grants to community health clinics.  Yakima neighborhood health is on that list.  They mostly serve the uninsured, and those on Medicare and Medicaid.  The clinic's chief financial officer says they may now have to offer fewer appointments.

"And were going to have to look at reducing some staff and probably increase in the cost of those services ", says Rhonda Hauff, CFO of Yakima Neighborhood Health.

In addition to Yakima Neighborhood Health, the Yakima Farm Worker's Clinic, Community Health Of Central Washington in Naches, and Ellensburg, the Mattawa Community Medical Center and Community Health Center La Clinica in Prosser, all stand to lose half their funding.  Collectively that comes to about one-point-four million dollars in cuts.  Statewide the grant cuts come to $5.3 million.

The proposed suspension would go into effect the first of the year.