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Philadelphia wrestles with health-clinic fees

Philadelphia Inquirer, March 18, 2009

A policy at Philadelphia's eight primary-care health centers—free care for everyone, with or without insurance—has recently raised questions of fairness and fiscal responsibility. The Philadelphia Department of Public Health has proposed new fees on a sliding scale for patients without health insurance. Officials say that the clinics have been free because most of their patients, even those with insurance, have little money. But they concede that the practice of not collecting co-pays must be revisited.