From the Desk of Louise Cohen: Post-Election Letter to Our Community

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Dear PCDC Community:

Louise Cohen

Yesterday, as on many other post-election mornings, the political landscape shifted. While it is hard to predict exactly what a Trump administration with a Republican majority in Congress will bring, we know that there will be significant changes that will impact primary care and the communities we serve.

In the coming months and years, the health care and community development landscape will likely be altered, with potential repeal or significant changes to the Affordable Care Act, changes in Medicaid and Medicare, and new leadership at HHS, Treasury, and all other federal agencies.  We will be watching carefully to understand what is on the horizon and how we will need to engage with communities and our partners to ensure the progress we have made endures and that primary care continues to become stronger.

At PCDC, we believe that high quality, patient-centered, coordinated care is a right and a foundational element to creating healthy, vibrant, and sustainable communities where people live and work. Across our nation, from large urban centers to small rural communities, we witness more people negatively impacted by chronic illness, poor mental health, and substance abuse issues, and an insufficient primary care safety net infrastructure.

What remains the same from before the election to now, is that we have work to do. Today, more people have health insurance than ever before, but many remain uninsured. We believe that primary care is the key to health care delivery and payment system reform, but in many parts of the country, there is insufficient primary care access, capacity, and quality. We believe that primary care and behavioral health should be integrated, but even with promising models across the country access to behavioral health services remains limited and integration with primary care is not yet routine. Many people with multiple chronic conditions don’t yet get the kind of comprehensive, coordinated, and team-based care that we believe will provide them with the right care at the right time. Our primary care system remains underfunded with an insufficient workforce. Finally, we know that education, housing, community and interpersonal violence, food security, and many more social conditions of life are critically important to health status and overall community health. Primary care is only one — but an important — piece of this puzzle.

Today, as on every day, we recommit ourselves to our social justice mission to make sure that every community has access to high quality, affordable, culturally competent, and integrated primary care, particularly poor, underserved, and minority communities throughout this country. We will continue to work in partnership and collaboration with others who share our mission and commitment.

The primary care movement is strong and growing. As part of that movement, PCDC has an outstanding staff, a vibrant board, and a legion of collaborative partners. We will continue to work together to make a difference in the lives of people and communities who need and deserve primary care.  

Thank you for all that you have done, and for all that we will continue to do together, to champion primary care.

Take care, Louise