St. Petersburg Free Clinic

While across the nation the cultural and political tug-of-war over health care rages on, locally, healers keep on healing. But providing care for people can get complicated when they don’t have health insurance.


Julio Ochoa/WUSF

The St. Petersburg Free Clinic’s health center has a new home and it’s twice as big.

The clinic outgrew its space in downtown St. Petersburg and was experiencing a backlog of appointments and longer wait times.

  The St. Petersburg Free Clinic has expanded its dental services to include providing dentures to low-income, uninsured and underserved adults in Pinellas County.

Leaders from the Florida Association of Free and Charitable Clinics went to Tallahassee Thursday to personally ask lawmakers to keep them in the budget this year.

What they’re asking for: at least $4.5 million in appropriations to serve 14,000  more uninsured Floridians

“These clinics play a critical role,” says Nick Duran, head of the association.

Monica Smith came to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic's women's program in 2012, after drug addiction and a felony record led to her losing custody of her three children. The program helps homeless women gain independence through job training and mentoring

Carol Gentry / Health News Florida

With open enrollment for health insurance ending in just two weeks, the push is on to get everyone who qualifies signed up. But some of the uninsured are balking, and it’s not only the so-called “young invincibles” who think they don’t need it.

Gary Babcock of Clearwater, for example, is neither young nor invincible.  He’s 55, with diabetes so severe he has to give himself daily insulin shots.

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At his income level, he could choose from several Affordable Care Act plans with no premium, fully subsidized.