Policy review: the US Affordable Care Act, community health centers, and economic development opportunities

Stavros Atsas, Karen Kunz
2014 Community Development  
Part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was designed to extend public health care coverage to millions of Americans and will provide states with a fiscal cushion to help achieve that goal. What have largely gone unnoticed however, are the economic development benefits of the Act. The ACA provides substantial funding for the creation of new community health centers in medically underserved areas in order to serve this new patient population. Other provisions of the Act offer
more » ... a host of economic benefits via a variety of related community economic development funding opportunities. The intent of this article is to provide a review of the literature regarding the importance of the ACA for community economic development. Subsequently, we provide two case studies as examples that illustrate the initial impacts of the ACA. We conclude that those states that choose not to expand public health care coverage to low-income populations will forego more than just Medicaid matching funds. State and local governments also stand to lose out on substantial economic development dollars.
doi:10.1080/15575330.2014.930057 fatcat:hbmhgnjixbd4bijdzyevihfb6e