I saw this on the NBC Nightly News:
And saw an interesting take on it from Real Time with Bill Maher (ep 164), where Dana Gould compares the angry white people (who likely have health insurance) to the calm and hopeful people (some who have health insurance, but their insurance doesn’t cover vision or dental services) receiving free healthcare. This is the status quo. This is what people living in denial don’t want to see; that providing healthcare to everybody makes sense, that it’s the right thing to do and that the rich need to pay for it.
Here’s a British take on the same scene:
The brutal truth about America’s healthcare
UPDATE: For an extra dose of conservative denial and psychosis, read the comments on the forelinked Independent piece. Horrifying.
(Via @mulegirl on Twitter.)
“In the first two days, more than 1,500 men, women and children received free treatments worth $503,000 (£304,000). Thirty dentists pulled 471 teeth; 320 people were given standard issue spectacles; 80 had mammograms; dozens more had acupuncture, or saw kidney specialists. By the time the makeshift medical centre leaves town on Tuesday, staff expect to have dispensed $2m worth of treatments to 10,000 patients.”
“The gritty district of Inglewood lies just a few miles from the palm-lined streets of Beverly Hills and the bright lights of Hollywood, but is a world away. And the residents who had flocked for the free medical care, courtesy of mobile charity Remote Area Medical, bore testament to the human cost of the healthcare mess that President Obama is attempting to fix.”
“Christine Smith arrived at 3am in the hope of seeing a dentist for the first time since she turned 18. That was almost eight years ago. Her need is obvious and pressing: 17 of her teeth are rotten; some have large visible holes in them. She is living in constant pain and has been unable to eat solid food for several years.”
“‘I had a gastric bypass in 2002, but it went wrong, and stomach acid began rotting my teeth. I’ve had several jobs since, but none with medical insurance, so I’ve not been able to see a dentist to get it fixed,’ she told The Independent. ‘I’ve not been able to chew food for as long as I can remember. I’ve been living on soup, and noodles, and blending meals in a food mixer. I’m in constant pain. Normally, it would cost $5,000 to fix it. So if I have to wait a week to get treated for free, I’ll do it. This will change my life.’”
There are other stories of inspiration and desperation as well.
The best part is at the end where it shows how much better the average UK citizen is under NHS than the more expensive U.S. “free market”. I’ll let you enjoy those numbers. They are similar to numbers I’ve shared via links in the past (click here for the post; it’s required reading).
Democrats: align and get your shit together. It’s time. Republicans, you are missing history’s boat. We can do this. It’s time.