Reductions to community health funding cut deep - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Reductions to community health funding cut deep

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YAKIMA, Wash- When Washington said "no" to new taxes like the candy and soda tax, funding to many local social services like health care got cut.  Basically that's health care for people without insurance.

Now, several months later, many community clinics are struggling to get by. At Yakima Neighborhood Health Services cuts have hurt staff and patients alike.

Since December, Yakima Neighborhood Health lost their grant that allows patients to pay based on their income.  They've also lost their adult dental plan and many patients lost their health care due to cuts in the basic health plan.

As a result, the clinic has cut staff by 10 percent they've also had to offer fewer appointments.

The CEO says this shows a cruel irony.  Budget cuts are reducing services while causing an increased need for those same services.

"Anyone who's come to the age of 19 or over the age of 65 there's really no place to go so they come to our clinics but we can't afford them", says Anita Monoian, CEO of Yakima Neighborhood Health.

Neighborhood Health cannot legally turn anyone away because of inability to pay even if the state cuts their funding.  Even with all of the cuts they've endured, they still may not be out of the woods.  They are bracing for more cuts this legislative session. 

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