News Headlines Article

Community clinics ground zero for health care reform

Veronica Villalobos works a desk in a crowded waiting room at St. James Health Center in San Jose. She’s looking for those whose low income — less than $699 per month for a single person — might qualify them for free medical care. The patients she seeks are not here for regular checkups. They earn less than 75 percent of the federal poverty line, and come to the Julian Street center because they can pay for care on a sliding scale. Some are so poor they hardly pay at all. Most waited until they were desperately sick to make an appointment.