People's Community Clinic optimistic about health care reform - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

People's Community Clinic optimistic about health care reform

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- About 15,000 patients depend on Waterloo's People's Community Clinic for health care. One third of those are uninsured, many others don't have a plan to cover basic services.

"Just the very reason of our existence begs some type of reform," said Executive Director Jennifer Lightbody.

"It's tremendously scary for anyone to not have insurance -- to walk into a clinic and think you're going to run tests on them that they can't afford," noted Sister Theresa Keller, RN.

Sister Keller considers the new law an important victory for the future of health care. Her patients, on the other hand, are more concerned about how they're paying today's bill.

"Even today, people have come in and said -- I've lost my insurance, or I've lost my job and I can't get insurance. But for those people, they're going to be able to get insurance again," said Sister Keller.

That's the exciting part for health care workers at People's Clinic. If everyone has insurance, they can provide care and services which, right now, patients can't afford.

"I think it's going to make a big difference in giving them some relief in regards to -- I can afford to go in and make sure that I'm doing okay. As opposed to -- I have to go in because I'm not doing alright."

The new law also provides additional funding for community clinics like People's. But even with all this good news, they are being realistic -- change won't happen overnight.

"The whole health care system has developed over the last 100 years to be the thing that it is now. So I think it's going to take a long time to get it to a point where we can assure people get the kind of health care that they need," said Lightbody.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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