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Free Clinic Helps Fill Gap For Arizonans Who Are Still Uninsured

Mission of Mercy Executive Director Catherine Amiot.
Photo by Nick Blumberg - KJZZ
Mission of Mercy Executive Director Catherine Amiot.

It's been about two months since the open enrollment period for buying insurance under the Affordable Care Act closed. But that law doesn't cover everyone.

To learn whether the ACA has affected people who can't afford or access health care, we spoke with Catherine Amiot. She's the executive director of Mission of Mercy, a nonprofit clinic that provides free health care and prescriptions around the Valley.

Amiot said Mission of Mercy's client population has grown 40 percent over the last three years, and she anticipates that rate of growth to continue. Since the rollout of the ACA, Mission of Mercy has made it a point to restate its mission and ensure that its community partners and donors are aware that many people are still uninsured and seeking care.

Amiot also said her clinic is looking at partnering with other parts of the health care sector. For example, that could mean hospitals sending uninsured patients who are repeat ER visitors to Mission of Mercy.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates 36 million people will still be uninsured by the end of the 2014.

Nick Blumberg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2010 to 2014.