Many of us have heard about Remote Area Medical. They are the real-life heroes who are, without a lot of Odrama, are quietly helping the millions of Americans who can no longer afford to go to the doctor or the dentist.
A few weeks ago, they held their annual two day health care fair in Wise County, VA.
August 11-18, 2009
3900 W. Manchester Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90305
Predictably, thousands of people who can no longer afford mainstream health care lined up for care, some coming the day before to stand in line overnight because they knew that there could easily be more people than slots.
It being LA, where the appearance of having money is everything, many were shy and implied that they were there because "it was a great deal".
But the reality is that, like everywhere else in the US, the prices in the Los Angeles medical community are more than many can afford, or their insurance deductibles and co pays too high. (According to the New York Times, many attending the event were "insured", but for some reason, they couldn't afford to actually use it to get medical care.
This bodes ill for any health reform which asks Americans to pay the full price via premiums. Because at least 60-80% can no longer afford those premiums.