THE BRONX - The Soundview Healthcare Center has been a lifeline for Bronx residents who can't afford healthcare since the 1970s, but many are worried it could be forced to close in a few weeks.

The clinic receives 90 percent of its funding from Medicaid, but it could lose that money on Sept. 12 if administators don't address concerns put forth by the Medicaid inspector general.

Medicaid takes issue with the center's refusal to remove former state Sen. Pedro Espada and his son from the facility's management. Espada is facing federal charges for allegedly misuing Medicaid money to fund a lavish lifestyle.

The center is also accused of a lack of oversight in business operations.

State Sen. Ruben Diaz (D-Bronx) visited the clinic to assure patients the facility will remain open, saying it's too valuable to the community to be shuttered.

Both Espada and Diaz have called Medicaid's threats a "witch hunt" orchestrated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.Ex-Sen. Espada vows to stop state from closing his clinicState to cut Medicaid funding for Espada's clinicEspada battles claims that Soundview clinic could lose funding