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Safety net health centers struggle to meet demand

AP/Yahoo News, March 13, 2009
There are 1,200 community health centers, 1,100 public hospitals and nearly 3,000 local health departments that are primary strands in the nation's healthcare safety net. Most say they have become significantly busier in the last seven months, as the economy has worsened. These last-resort centers coping with waves of new customers are looking forward to a jolt of new money from the $787 billion federal stimulus package signed into law last month. Safety net providers struggle as a rule, but times are unusually tough.