SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the health care law, 21 million Americans — including a half million in Louisiana — could be left with no medical insurance.
That’s because “Obamacare” pays for Medicaid expansion through the states and provides private insurance subsidies.
Some people who lose their coverage turn to the Martin Luther King Health Center on Olive Street in Shreveport.
It provides free medical and pharmaceutical services to clients who qualify financially.
Steve Barnhart knows all about losing insurance after losing a job.
“I wasn’t taking the right insulin I was supposed to be taking. My sugar was always going low. I couldn’t feel it," the 41-year-old said.
"I wasn’t taking my thyroid medicine. I wasn’t taking my cholesterol medicine. So everything was high when I got here. But now they got me under control.”
Jordan Ring, associate director of the MLK Health Center, explained how its services help clients:
“People who, if they didn’t have the health center here, they’d probably end up in the emergency department because they ran out of their insulin. Or because they ran out of their insulin, their diabetes is now out of control. And the emergency department is not the best place to manage that because that’s not their function.”
Ring estimates that the health center serves 1,600 people a year through its seven to eight clinics.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and massive job losses through much of the country, they have seen an uptick in people losing their insurance.
But Ring said they are not a full capacity at the MLK Health Clinic.
“So if there are people at home watching and they lost their health insurance, they always call MLK.
“And if we can’t help them," he continued, "we have a patient navigator on site who can help the navigate other services. So if we’re not the right fit for them, she can help them be placed with others providers or services.”
Just a reminder, this is not a walk-in clinic. You can call (318) 227-2912 to set up a time to come in.
The high court’s ruling on the nation’s health care law is expected by June.