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August 13, 2009

Health Care: Passing Look at a Remote Area

Remote Area Medical.jpg

Pardon the break from public hysteria for a sobering glimpse of reality. (Please have a seat, folks on Medicare demanding the government stay out of health care!)

The caption reads:

Patients receive dental care inside the Forum arena at a free health clinic on August 11, 2009 in Inglewood, California. Hundreds of people, most without either health or dental insurance, waited outside much of the night for the first day of the clinic. From August 11-18 the non-profit Remote Area Medical (RAM), is holding the nation’s largest free healthcare clinic. Hundreds of doctors, dentists, optometrists and nurses volunteered to serve uninsured and underinsured people. With a limit of 1,500 patients per day, the organizers expect to see as many as 10,000 people during the 8-day clinic.

(Adding another layer, if you know L.A. at all, is the sadness of this building since the day the Lakers left.)

On first pass, I thought I was looking at a makeshift medical unit in a disaster zone — till I realized I was looking at a make-do clinic in that “remote area” known as American health care.

For a fuller picture, see the NYT slideshow.

(image: John Moore/Getty Images)

  • TFitz

    Thank you for posting this. Public hysteria sans facts. I posted this picture on my blog, along with some of the Youtubes from Sen. McCaskill’s Missouri town hall.
    Enough said.

  • jonst

    First poll in:
    To the extent polls are relevant (a big qualification)this is not good news for either those hoping for health reform, or for our society, in general. But I am not surprised.

  • yg

    nice, jump on bad news to validate your ego.
    have you called your senators yet?

  • bystander

    Deep breath, yg. I’m unconvinced that the health insurance debate will be won, or lost, depending on whether individual people clap harder. And, sharing poll information whether it’s favorable, or not, does not tell you whether the person sharing it hasn’t been pounding their representatives door/mailbox/email/telephone, either.
    By way of a “peace offering” I’ll provide you with this link to Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight who has an interesting take on that Gallup poll. Rather than pound the bearer of “bad news,” why not first find out why/how the news is “bad,” and what can be done about it, if anything?

  • jonst

    “nice, jump on bad news to validate your ego”? Other than to hint that a certain mentality is revealing itself, I’ll leave it to others to comment on that to extent it is worthy of comment.

  • bystander

    The question for me is, why haven’t more images like this one been in the news before now?

    About a month ago, Bill Moyers sat down with Wendell Potter, a former executive at a major health insurance company, who’s become a whistleblower [...] Potter said he visited a health care expedition in Wise, Virginia, in July 2007. [...] “But what I saw were doctors who were set up to provide care in animal stalls. Or they’d erected tents, to care for people…. I’ve got some pictures of people being treated on gurneys, on rain-soaked pavement. And I saw people lined up, standing in line or sitting in these long, long lines, waiting to get care.” [...] He asked himself, “What country am I in? It just didn’t seem to be a possibility that I was in the United States.” - Steve Benen; The Washington Monthly

  • yg

    hadn’t read nate yet. but it’s not hard to tell that this isn’t majority opposition. axelrod also had some comments about the polling.
    polls are lagging indicators. this doesn’t measure the debunking that’s taken place with recent push back against gop slander. but don’t tell the purists that. they derive some sort of perverse pleasure in bad news because that just shows the brilliance and political acumen of their crystal ball gazing. the “i’m not surprised” translates into “i told you so.”
    all this hoopla reminds me of the terri shiavo story. if you had looked at the issue purely from media attention, who hyped it incessantly in gop’s favor, you’d have thought republicans won the issue. what happened instead is that the republicans overreached & went to far. public grews disgusted with gop interventionism over a private manner, injecting themselves into an issue they didn’t belong. later on dems took advantage of the backlash and won the midterms as a result.

  • yg

    60 minutes did a segment on stan brock. cnn did too. this line left me stunned:
    STAN BROCK, FOUNDER, REMOTE AREA MEDICAL: We have had to cut back on our operations in places like Haiti and Guatemala and India because of the tremendous demand here in the United States.
    more desperate countries are put on the back burner because americans are in need and have to resort to third world, NGO relief tactics because of lack of healthcare. and teabaggers are yelling they want their country back??
    the photo above is from los angeles. in the 60 minutes and cnn segments, they covered operations in tennessee and virginia. who do you see mostly lining up for services? rural, white, working poor.
    rising hegemon covered this story. he encouraged people to donate:

  • g

    The media ought to show footage of this on split-screen, with every clip of “town hall” protesters.
    BTW, the Forum building is now owned by a church, and managed by SMG, a corporation that manages entertainment venues throughout the nation. The Forum is rented it out for events like concerts as well as for events like this. I’m not sure what is “sad” about that.

  • Tena

    A reform bill will pass – that’s not in question. What’s in question is how those who have been lied to and stirred up will deal with it.
    But a reform bill will pass.

  • Tena

    They know a reform bill will pass; therefore, they know that they have stirred up a hatred that will just be cemented when a bill passes.
    I find this utterly nihilistic and the most deadly cynical thing I’ve seen yet in American politics.

  • Michael (The BAG)

    Thanks, my comment calls out for clarification. I didn’t mean “sad” in a functional way, I meant it more in a physical way — especially in contrast to the so-called urban renewal that spawned the steel-and-glass luxury Staples Arena in a downtown no man’s land (yeah, along with a larger footprint of upscale restaurants, attractions, etc…) turning the Forum (which was a tremendous anchor and source of pride in the residential and largely African-American community of Inglewood) into a rental hall and a relic.

  • jean

    After thirty years in the nursing profession, this confirms my long held opinion that the US is a third world country. We are just too blind to see it.
    And, as a Brit expat friend of mine says, the US is a terrible country to be poor in.

  • Tena

    It is a terrible country to be poor in and it’s not a great place to get old in, which may be driving some of the misinformed and terrorized seniors who are protesting against their own best interests.
    We are a 3d world country – what 1st world country is as violent as this one?

  • yg

    how watered down will the reform be, is another question.

  • yg

    The media ought to show footage of this on split-screen, with every clip of “town hall” protesters.

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    What a fantastic view of our Future. If things like this continues then all I can expect is our childrens future will be a disaster if ever our health care system will not change.

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