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.