I Didn’t Know Oakland was “Remote”

Thousands Expected for Free Health Care Event in Oakland

I knew it wouldn’t take long to stumble on a story that would disturb me. After I wrote on the spree killings, I got into my car for my Saturday night burger ritual. I was listening to Karel on KGO, and he was talking about healthcare. Remote Area Medical (RAM) has a weekend stop at the Oakland Coliseum. This is an organization that provides free healthcare in remote areas of the United States and the world.

They’re in Oakland. Not rural Appalachia, not Haiti (their next stop). Oakland, CA. So many are uninsured or underinsured that they line up at midnight for tickets that they start handing out at 3:30 AM.

“It was people like you or me that were just kind of down on their luck,” recalled organizer Pam Congdon. “It wasn’t a lot of homeless and indigent. It was normal people that maybe could afford medical but they couldn’t afford dental and vision or they could afford the insurance for their children but not for themselves.”

It’s really sad that in other countries, you can see a doctor if you’re not feeling well. Here, a lot of uninsured people wait until they’re half dead to go to the ER. You can rack up thousands of dollars in medical debt if you’re uninsured. To me, that is an absolute tragedy. No one should have to go bankrupt just because they got sick.

Are people so afraid that we’ll turn into Cuba if we were to provide Universal health care? That the free market would simply disappear if we have it?

I guess they are. Right now, there are people standing in line for their ticket to see a doctor or dentist in a sports stadium. In the remote area of Oakland, CA.

RAM is funded solely on donations. They’re not subsidized by the government. $15 can get someone an eye exam and a pair of glasses. RAM founder Stan Brock said, “…it’s those $5 and $10 contributions from the public that fund this organization.” Hell, even a buck can help.

You Can Donate to RAM

12 responses to “I Didn’t Know Oakland was “Remote”

  • Terrance H.

    I believe healthcare is a basic human right, but I fear an “ascension” into full-blown socialized medicine will result in a “decline” in overall quality.

    I don’t know. I could support a single-payer system – perhaps. It would depend on the alternatives. Are there any? We’ll see.

    • Spinny Liberal

      The universal health care system works pretty well. I don’t know if the quality is directly proportional to population numbers? It seems to work well in those Scandinavian countries?

      Single payer would be cool. At this point, anything is better than what we have now. While the pundits on the Right say how great our system is quality wise, it doesn’t matter if you can’t experience it.

      • Terrance H.

        The system does seem to work well in certain countries. And I don’t know if this is coincidence or what, but those same countries seem to have a superb education system as well.

        While the pundits on the Right say how great our system is quality wise, it doesn’t matter if you can’t experience it.

        Spot on.

      • Spinny Liberal

        That’s true – especially those Scandinavian countries. I wonder why we can’t replicate that here. I don’t know.

  • lobotero

    I am sure we could find someone somewhere that will bad mouth it….but the VA is run by the govt and is a pretty well admin group…..personally I would rather see a kid or a senior get the cash than Bank of America….

  • lyttleton

    I have to deal with this concern all the time because I can’t ever afford health insurance. Right now, I have a pulled muscle in my chest or a bruised sternum, and it hurts like hell, but I can’t afford to check it out, so I just live with it.
    It’ll go away eventually, but it’d be nice to just be able to have it checked out without having to give up rent for a month.

    • Spinny Liberal

      See now that’s completely messed up. You’re in pain, and you can’t even go to the doctor for it. Ugh. Your job doesn’t provide health insurance?

      Being in between jobs is the scariest for me – especially if there is a possibility that COBRA runs out or if I’m on my partner’s insurance, and they switch jobs. My med cocktail alone would be around $600/mo if I had to buy retail. Once I almost had to go through that, but my doctor had samples that were able to tide me over until my insurance kicked in.

      Some jobs the benefits kick in from day one. Others it’s 3 months. My job now was the 3 months kind. The day before, I joked with my boss. “So tomorrow I can crack my head open and be able to go to the ER?” 🙂

      • lyttleton

        I’m a waiter, so there’s no insurance. I’ve had a job with insurance before (managing at Barnes & Noble), but I so rarely get sick/hurt, that it actually wasn’t worth paying into it.
        Of course, moving every year makes it pretty hard to maintain any sort of insurance. This is what I have found in my years moving, that many people would “Love to move” but they just can’t because of a job/health situation.

      • Spinny Liberal

        Yes I can definitely see why people would love to move but can’t because of the health thing. I’m one of them. Hahaha 😀

  • nonnie9999

    it’s shameful that this is happening in america. we need universal health care so that people can get preventive care. that will cut costs in the long run, because prevention is a helluva lot cheaper than emergency care and/or long-term preventable illnesses.

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