Town Hall Meeting on Protecting the Uninsured

Local health advocates say not enough is being done at the federal and state levels to help combat the problem. At a town hall meeting Monday night a community came together to find solutions.

Area health advocates in attendance at a town hall meeting on Tallahassee’s south side, Monday night.

Say something has to be done for the nearly 33,000 Leon County residents without health insurance.

“It's clearly a problem, and that's just our local problem, we have a problem nationally with the number of uninsured in this country,” explains Alma Littles, MD at FSU College of Medicine.

Posters promoting good health were showcased at the meeting. They were made by kids from the Boys and Girls club of the Big Bend.

Out of the 44 million Americans without health coverage, almost nine million of them are children.

Health advocates at Monday’s meeting say programs like the bond community health center, and neighborhood health service, can only do so much because, without enough money coming from the federal government.

Local agencies are burdened with picking up extra costs.

"The federal government allocates dollars, which is based on the national average of centers providing health care to the uninsured which is around 47-percent. But at bond 78-percent of our patients are uninsured,” adds J.R. Richards, CEO, Bond Community Health Center,

"We just do not have the national will, the political will to put it together to provide for these patients, so in the meantime, we have to take care of them,” comments Charles Mathews, M.D., Lincoln Neighborhood Health Center.

Through Friday, a series of health related events will be held throughout Tallahassee and around the country as part of "Cover the Uninsured, Week."