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)