Monday, November 23, 2009
The Arkansas Free Clinic really did a wonderful job this past weekend, as Keith Olbermann explained on Countdown Monday eve.
1500 showed up to receive care, there were again direct admits to the hospital, even one Heart Attack, and 4 suicide preventions and others that were diagnosed with Diabetes.And again many that showed up were Working Americans or those laid off this year and who have no access to care or Insurance. Again I have linked the National Free Clinics website to the Title if you wish to give or need information about the Next Free Clinic in Kansas City.
Think Progress had more on the event, and reported what we needed to learn about some of the details.
This local Arkansas article from the weekend interviewed people that attended,and once again showed how many Working Americans have no access to Affordable Care.
The National Association of Free Clinics is the non-profit organizations behind the event. It's an advocacy organization for the more than 1,200 free medical clinics nationwide, but officials say free clinics are not the solution for the uninsured.One by one uninsured Arkansans are called to see a doctor for a physical and routine health screenings free of charge.
Asa Muhammad says, "I have had health insurance for my family for the last 14-years, now since I don't have a job, no insurance. If I could afford to buy insurance I would."
Muhammad was laid off a year ago and wants proper health care for his kids. He says, "You are afraid that they might get hurt. You don't want to be burden with an emergency bill or any medical bills at all. It's difficult, it's sad, but it's difficult."
According to the National Association of Free Clinics, from 2006 to 2008 about 490,000 Arkansans went without health insurance and 83 percent of free clinic patients nationwide have jobs.
Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter says, "I met a woman who hasn't seen a physician in 5-years."
Halter arranged the location for the clinic. He continues, "These free clinics are certainly not the desirable solution, but they are an important part of filling a very important gap. We simply must have comprehensive health care reform. Our health care system cost too much, leaves too many people uncovered."Until then, folks here will get information on local free clinics for follow-up care.
Dr. Kimberly Garner adds, "Our health care system is broken and we need prevention of problems, we don't need to wait to treat somebody until they're sick. These people aren't the people that are homeless or anything like that. They fall in that area where they don't qualify for any kind of benefits, but they can't afford health care."
Local NPR reported how 1200 Volunteers assisted with the process caring for 1500 others in the one day event.
"NAFC Senior Director, Carrie Thompson says over 12-hundred volunteers participated in the Little Rock event and provided sometimes critical care for the uninsured who came. A final tally on the clinic showed that more than 90 percent of those who came had three or more life-threatening conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, cardio-vascular, and pulmonary disease."