Obamacare Nears ‘Primary Care Cliff,’ With Programs Serving Poor Set to Expire

Republicans won’t need to lift a finger to make a dent in at least three Obamacare programs.

The trio of primary care programs, which serves poor Americans, is due to expire at the end of this fiscal year unless Congress finds more funding. But keeping the programs alive could be a tough sell amid a political climate still sour on President Obama’s signature health law.

Obamacare supporters have labeled it the “primary care cliff,” and say it would be a disaster for the health of 22 million poor Americans if the country goes over the Sept. 30 deadline without finding more money for the programs.

“It will precipitate a huge crisis in primary care,” said Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent.

Community health centers operating more than 9,000 locations across the country would forfeit at least 60 percent of their federal funding, while a program that offers scholarships and loan repayment to health professionals who work in underserved areas would lose all of its support, because federal lawmakers eliminated its discretionary funding years ago, the Congressional Research Service said in a recent report on the looming cuts.