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Safety net health centers struggle to meet demand

March 12, 2009
by Mike Stobbe
Associated Press

Safety net providers struggle as a rule, but times are unusually tough. Most community health centers and public hospitals are temporarily maintaining their razor-thin operating margins, but say they can't keep it up for long. Many health departments - which play a leading role in preventive care and are heavily dependent on waning state revenues - are doing worse, eliminating thousands of jobs and shedding services.

Last year, health departments cut 11,000 jobs and this year expect to shed another 10,000, according to a report this week by Trust for America's Health, a research group.

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