Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) attended a ribbon-cutting event for the Health West clinic in Aberdeen, Idaho. Crapo praised the clinic, which will specialize in assisting low-income patients in rural areas, saying, “What is happening right here in Aberdeen today is one of the core pieces of the solution that we need in America today.” What Crapo did not mention in his praise for Health West is that most of its funding came from the stimulus package that he opposed:
During a brief speech at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Sen. Crapo said the clinic is essential in providing efficient high-quality services in a rural community. He said the facility helps address two disturbing trends in U.S. health care — skyrocketing cost of services and limited access to quality care.
“What is happening right here in Aberdeen today is one of the core pieces of the solution that we need in America today,” Crapo said. […] Stephen Weeg, executive director for Health West in Southeast Idaho, said the clinic hopes to partner with the larger medical hospitals to bring in specialists once a month. Green light for the clinic did not come until stimulus money was made available.
Weeg said stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided $500,000 of the $660,000 project. Additional money came from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. About $74,000 was raised locally, with about $35,000 left to raise.
At the time of the passage of the stimulus bill, Crapo called it “an avalanche of special funding, much of which is unrelated to stimulating our economy as a whole.” It now appears that the senator realizes, at least implicitly, that it has provided funding to important projects like the West Health center that he calls “one of the core pieces of the solution that we need in America today.”