Wyoming News Service

The drum beat in the U-S House to reduce federal spending is being heard close to home in Wyoming. Federal cuts of more than one billion dollars have been proposed for Community Health Centers.

For Wyoming, it would mean the loss of about 400-thousand dollars, and Dan Hawkins with the National Association of Community Health Centers says they estimate close to six thousand Wyomingites would be shut out of doctor offices.

"These are communities where there are whole swaths of people - and in rural America, it's often the whole community - that simply don't have other available sources of care."

The federal funding reductions would also result in lost jobs - with at least 30 Wyoming positions on the chopping block, according to Hawkins.

"Health centers are major employers, and often in rural communities, the largest employer."

Community Health Centers provide care on a sliding-fee scale, and accept patients with or without insurance, and accept those with Medicaid or Medicare. Nationally, more than 100 centers would have to close if the funding cuts are approved.