Countdown & the National Association of Free Clinics

@anniepa (27248)
United States
February 3, 2010 11:04pm CST
Since I realize many of you don't like Keith Olbermann or watch his show, Countdown, but I thought I'd post this anyway. A few months ago Keith announced that the National Association of Free Clinics would be holding several free health clinics in key cities around the country and asked viewers who were able to do so to contribute. Within an amazingly short time over a million dollars was raised; I think they ended up with around $2 million, give or take a little. So far there have been five clinics in Houston, Kansas City, New Orleans, Little Rock and today in Hartford. (Please forgive me if I missed a city or got one wrong!) At each one the turnout was amazing, with most of the patients being working people without insurance or those who had been laid off. As it turns out, there's little doubt some lives were possibly saved. There were people who were taken to local ERs due to dangerously high blood pressure, several heart attacks and several cases of cancer and diabetes were diagnosed. Today there was a woman in her fifties who had had a very good job until two years ago. She's been without insurance ever since and had recently discovered a lump in her neck and had lost over 40 pounds in about a month. The immediately did a biopsy but if she does in fact have cancer and needs surgery and/or chemotherapy she has no way to pay for it. Of course, there were no Washington politicians who made appearances at any of these clinics. Nobody from either party. If they had shown up maybe they'd see more clearly how serious the need is for health care reform. These clinics are wonderful and the people who run them and the local doctors, nurses and other health care workers who volunteer at each of the locations are fantastic. However, they're not enough; a one-time clinic in a handful of major cities isn't going to make a dent the size of a pinhole in the problem, but maybe it can raise some awareness. I don't expect to suddenly make any of you who are opposed to national health care change your mind but does it make you even a TINY bit more willing to admit there are people who are suffering and going without needed treatment through no fault of their own? People who aren't "lazy bums" who waste their money on "booze and drugs" but hard working folks who need a break? Any thoughts? Annie
9 responses
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
4 Feb 10
Well more like a question than a thought LOL How is it we claim to be the greatest nation in the world but, yet we are no better than third world countries when our citizens are dying from curable diseases?
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27248)
• United States
4 Feb 10
Bingo! Annie
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
4 Feb 10
I can't remember how many times I've heard the UK calling themselves the greatest nation on the planet, oh, yes I can never. When exactly has the UK invaded another country to spread their form of government because it's much better than the country they are invading?
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 10
"When exactly has the UK invaded another country to spread their form of government because it's much better than the country they are invading" Huh? I guess we're only going back as far as the Union Treaty. (This is a JB topic, to be sure, but it's seeming awfully selective.) The British Empire doesn't count since England and Scotland merged and poor Ireland was kinda told what to do? The Queen still has title to a lot of the spoils, no? Maybe I'm taking you wrong.
@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
5 Feb 10
"Of course, there were no Washington politicians who made appearances at any of these clinics. Nobody from either party" All the better. The last thing these clinics need is politicians sticking their noses in to a prefectly good charitable event. If they had shown up, it would have been for a photo op or to somehow take credit for it. YOu know how I feel about Olberman...he's on the same level to me as Hannity and the other party asss kissers. However, as much as it pains me, I will give him props for doing this. It does further the case that private charity and citizens can do better than any government in providing healthcare for folks though. NO ONE I know doesn't believe things need to be done to help folks get access. I am not even oposed to limited government fizes for it. However....THIS government? I have a hard time even trusting these people to provide my cat vetrinary care, let alone my healthcare. Untill the federal government is restored to a cosntitutional and trustworthy form, I will do all I can to not allow these people to regulate anything, they simply cannot be trusted with it. And until they present a simple, workable bill that isn't going to reduce our economy to a 3rd world status, and one that DOESN'T unconstitutionaly mandate that people to purchase health insurance, I will not support such efforts. WE deserve better and should be demanding it.
1 person likes this
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
5 Feb 10
and one that DOESN'T unconstitutionaly mandate that people to purchase health insurance, I will not support such efforts. WE deserve better and should be demanding it. I agree with this. Most things this government tries to 'mandate' are not things that do anybody any good.....it is all about money, never what the people want or deserve.
@anniepa (27248)
• United States
5 Feb 10
I agree, I also wouldn't like to see an event of this kind turned into a photo-op for politicians but on the other hand it wouldn't hurt for some of them to SEE how much need there is. You wrote, "It does further the case that private charity and citizens can do better than any government in providing healthcare for folks though." I have to respectfully disagree, at least to a point. Yes, what organizations like this and the people who give their time and services do is amazing but it's not NEARLY enough and that's what's frustrating to the organizers. They were able to help some people who brought in their prescription bottles for medications they could no longer afford to take by changing their medications in some cases so they could get them filled for $4, showing them what pills can safely be cut in half, etc. but the problem is one clinic that is able to serve the immediate needs of around 1000 people. Just as with local food banks and soup kitchens, many of the people who had previously been donors are now among those in need. Annie
@xfahctor (14128)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
6 Feb 10
"They were able to help some people who brought in their prescription bottles for medications they could no longer afford to take by changing their medications in some cases so they could get them filled for $4" Which is exactly what walmart and otherstores already do. I think the best thing that can happen for right now is exactly what this group is doing. Showing people there are ways out there to get the help they need. DOo you know how many people do not know about stores that offer dirt cheap prescriptions? How many do not know about programs that hospitals have already for not only prescriptions but for full blown coverage? How many are not aware of dicount insurance coverage? How many are eligable for programs like medicaid but don't appl (that number alone i in the millions).
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
5 Feb 10
I maintain that if we removed ALL the funding that went toward anybody who was a non-citizen, anybody who had no right to be here, anybody who was a criminal, incarcerated, or in jail, on probation, etc etc, and took those funds and put them towards citizens who were not able to obtain health coverage through jobs or due to prohibitive cost, and to help other citizens who already had coverage by reducing the amounts they were responsible for, that would be good reform. We are still having our resources bled out horrifically by the hundreds of thousands of people who are non-citizens yet are taking advantage of state and federal sponsored programs. If we denied all of them coverage under these programs, it would free up PLENTY of resources for our citizens and fix the whole health care crisis completely. IF all the citizens received coverage, THEN we could use any left over resources for non-citizens. I still don't understand why something like this is not implemented. I see nothing complicated, wrong, unnecessary, or hurtful about putting our citizens FIRST. That's like what we all do - we take care of OUR families, and then if we have any extra or surplus, we can donate to the worthy causes we support, help our friends, etc. The majority of us do not take our paychecks and turn them over to various charities BEFORE we take care of our own. It is time for this country to remember we need to help ourselves first.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27248)
• United States
5 Feb 10
I'm not sure what you mean. Illegal immigrants can't get Medicaid so what they do if they can't pay for their health care is the same thing uninsured citizens do - they go the the ER. When someone is on probation, that usually means either they were a first-time offender and had committed a relatively minor crime or they've already served their prison sentence. So, do you think if someone makes a mistake, that's it, they shouldn't get health care? Annie
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
5 Feb 10
I'm not just talking about medicaid, and yes illegals can somehow get medicaid. I worked doing medical insurance billing long enough to know that the majority of people I did billing for were NOT actually legal citizens. You can argue with me if you wish but they were not. They even had ID numbers which were NOT social security numbers. We did not deny them benefits because when we ran eligibility, it DID show them eligible. The point here is though that even though many of them had a share of cost (most of whom could not afford it), the bulk of the cost was being paid by medicaid - albeit at a prearranged reduced rate. In my OPINION, this money being paid out by medicaid should not have been paid out. Federal and state money in programs to help offset the costs of things for people should only go toward people who have paid into the programs. Therefore, if you haven't paid into the programs at some time in your life, you should not be eligible and the cost should be completely yours. If you cannot pay it, leave the country. However, all LEGAL citizens should get an opportunity to be covered and get care, and if they cannot afford it, it should be subsidized somehow because think of how much taxpayers pay in taxes.... I cannot believe how much we pay in taxes and how poorly that is managed and/or returned to us. We would do a better job managing that money ourselves.
1 person likes this
@artistry (4153)
• United States
4 Feb 10
...Hi annee, What Keith and the National Association of Free Health Clinics did, I think that is the name of it, has been amazing. I am hoping that this catches on and somehow, in the midst of the heming and hawing by our government and the dragging of the feet by the Republicans and some Democrats as well, that they would be able to have at least one a month in every state. It would certainly help a lot of people, from there maybe hospitals will start to give people whatever service they need for what they can pay. All this needs to be addressed for the sake of people's lives. All the talk from people about how the reform is going to work and who is going to pay for it and why can't this and why can't that, is all mute when your son or daughter, husband or wife or other relative gets a life threatening disease and you can't get trearment for them. The richest country in the world they say, but unable to put in place a decent, afforable health care system. What a revolting situation this is! Take care.
1 person likes this
@artistry (4153)
• United States
4 Feb 10
...Sorry annie, not renaming you, wrong key "o).
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27248)
• United States
5 Feb 10
You're so right, it's disgraceful this country can't come up with a plan to make health care affordable and accessible for all. Fine, some people have legitimate disagreements about some of the provisions in the bills that have been passed; so, let's come up with a compromise and let's all realize none of us are going to get everything we want! Annie
@artistry (4153)
• United States
5 Feb 10
....annie, exactly!
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Feb 10
Oh I am all for healthcare overhaul. It needs reform. But I don't want the system Canada has. I also do not want our government in charge of it. I would not trust these jerks to babysit my dog much less take care of my health. I do think we need a compromise bill. Get rid of the preexisting conditions clause, make it illegal for them to drop you just because you get sick with something major. Open up the market for more competition. Other things like that. But I don't want a government take over. That is not the answer. I don't like that insurance companies can decide what you do and don't get as far as your medical decisions....that should be between you and your doctor. A government take over would basically take that decision away from the insurance companies...but instead of giving it to the people...the government would get it. We need a way that puts the power and decisions in the hands of the people and their doctors...not ANYONE else.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27248)
• United States
4 Feb 10
Nobody has proposed the system Canada has and even if they did Canada's system here wouldn't necessarily work the same as it does in Canada. Nobody has proposed the government taking charge of health care. I agree totally with your last sentence - "We need a way that puts the power and decisions in the hands of the people and their doctors...not ANYONE else." Annie
• United States
4 Feb 10
There is no doubt in my mind that we desperately need health care changes. However I am very much against many issues in the proposed Obamacare bill. I honestly cannot get past the issue by which it is intended to deplete Medicare of approx 400 billion dollars to fund other projects. IMO that will only add to the number of people who cannot get health care when they need it.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27248)
• United States
4 Feb 10
Actually, I would NEVER be in favor of any bill that cut any benefits or services from Medicare recipients. From everything I've read in the research I've done, the bills in question would not do that, rather it would ensure that Medicare will last for years longer than it will if nothing in done. Annie
@Taskr36 (13923)
• United States
4 Feb 10
It's nice to see that even an a$$ like Olbermann can do good from time to time. I think this is also a good example of how much people are willing to give when donating money to clinics as opposed to the government stealing it and piddling it away on bribes to get votes. Anyone with a brain knows that there are good people who suffer and need care. Everyone with a brain knows that without insurance hospital expenses are disgustingly high. We all know health care reform is necessary. Where we differ Annie, is that many of us want GOOD reform and are not willing to blindly support any and every bill that the democrats in congress write with the title "Health Care Bill."
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27248)
• United States
4 Feb 10
Taskr, you're right about people being willing to give to these kinds of clinics but the problem is they're not enough. We really don't differ in wanting "GOOD" reform. I'm just sick and tired of BOTH parties playing their silly games instead of having adult discussions about what can really help people ASAP. You and I will never agree 100% on any health care bill and neither will the most liberal Democrat and the most conservative Republican. What I'm saying is both sides need to realize nobody is going to get 100% of what they want, there has to be compromise. Annie
@irishidid (8721)
• United States
4 Feb 10
I'm not against a reform of sorts and I don't know many who are. The question is what and how. A better way of how medicaid is done would be one way. An adult who makes over $200 a month in my state can't get it even if that adult is willing to pay something every month.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27248)
• United States
4 Feb 10
I'm not sure what the income level is in my state to be eligible for Medicaid but I know it's too low. I understand there are many people who are in favor of reform but have legitimate concerns about the bills that have been passed. I just wish seeing things like this free clinic and hearing real life stories, not something that could have been a political plant at a rally but REAL people at a REAL clinic would spur those in power on towards trying to work out a compromise based on the needs of the people and not just on scoring a political victory for either side. Let's put it this way - if I were an uninsured person who had been diagnosed with cancer I wouldn't care who cast the deciding vote or who signed something into law that could possibly save my life. Annie
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
4 Feb 10
I'm still waiting to see these supposed people who don't want any healthcare reform? I've heard about them for years now, but they seem to be like bigfoot: the person reporting about them always seems to have first-hand experience, but when the rest us go looking, we come back with nothing but poison ivy. But I realize what the standard is. It's like the discussion you started the other day that I replied to. I criticized Obama, so I MUST be a Bush/Cheney puppet. Because, you know, only someone on the fringe of the right-wing would DARE question this president. (I guess because he's so experienced and honest and isn't an ideologue. He isn't! But that's really neither here nor there. Well, technically, it's 'there,' but I like that saying! ) I don't know. It seems to me we have to heal the disconnect and the gross partisanship before we address big problems. There's just too much dishonesty and twisting going on on both sides of the aisle. It doesn't do sick people justice to contort context until it proves a point, nor does it do them good to stand opposite reform just for the sake of standing opposite. So I'm really pushing for folks to meet in the middle. Nobody that I have ever known of actually wants people to go without care. There are just different ways of getting there. Being against one way doesn't mean you're against all ways.
@anniepa (27248)
• United States
4 Feb 10
I know MOST people realize some form of health care reform is needed. I know that "being against one way doesn't mean you're against all ways". I withyou in pushing for folks to meet in the middle! I don't recall off-hand which discussion you're referring to so I won't get into that other than to say I've been accused of being worse things than a "puppet" because I DON'T hate Obama. But that's neither here nor there either...lol! I HAVE heard people on TV and on radio shows make the claim that there is no "health care crisis" and some who seem to think since people can't be turned away from an ER regardless of ability to pay and since there are a few free clinics like the one yesterday that means nobody goes without care. THAT is NOT true! Annie
@mommyboo (13198)
• United States
5 Feb 10
The biggest problem I see is that the WRONG people are going without care. American citizens are going without care. People who are gainfully employed, not living off the government are going without care. Middle and even some upper class people are going without care because they have huge deductibles or can't afford the employee costs. Meanwhile we still have so many illegals who immediately get on the state and federal insurance programs. I don't understand it.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27248)
• United States
5 Feb 10
I'm sorry but there are no "right people" to be denied health care, that should be a basic human right. I'm sincerely curious as to how illegal immigrant can get state or federal health benefits. I've read that they can get insurance IF THEY PAY FOR IT. You certainly wouldn't expect the greedy insurance companies to refuse to take money from someone willing to pay their ridiculous premiums, would you? That is actually saving the taxpayers' money since they don't have to go to the ER and end up not paying. Annie