Community Health Centers

Keith Seinfeld / kplu

Physical signs of President Obama’s health care law are springing up across western Washington. Wherever you live, there’s probably one nearby. They’re medical clinics that cater to low-income people--and they are in growth mode.

Clinics and hospitals that serve low-income people are holding candle-light vigils in Seattle, Yakima and Spokane this week to draw attention to proposed budget cuts they call devastating. After education, the second biggest slice of the state budget goes to health care, totaling about a third of the general fund.

Some community clinics are taking the desperate step of marketing themselves to people with private insurance. That's a big change for non-profits with a mission to serve the poor.

Photo courtesy of HealthPoint

Health clinics that cater to low-income people have been expanding.

About $5.3 million in monthly grants to community health clinics around the state will be suspended through June. Three dozen organizations representing 214 clinics will see the grants suspended beginning Jan. 1.