One of the unseen parts of Remote Area Medical clinics are the people behind the scenes who help secure the sites where our clinics are held. At a recent clinic in Lafayette, Tennessee we caught up with Betty Marsh, who helped our Community Host Group secure the site at Macon County Junior High School.
Betty was on hand to oversee the proceedings, but she was also there to take advantage of the chance to get some new glasses. She arrived around 6 a.m. and said she got into the clinic in a relatively quick manner. “They were bringing people in ten at a time sometimes, and five at a time. It went real smooth.”
She had just got her glasses when we spoke and she had a smile on her face, “They made the glasses here and I got them within two or three hours after my eye test.” Betty did state that there were less people at the clinic than she expected. She felt some people may have seen a line outside and thought they may have to wait a long time, but as she previously stated, everyone got in relatively quick.
It had been a long time since we were last in Lafayette, eight years to be exact, but Betty helped secure the building then as well. There had just been a tornado in the area before we arrived the last time. Betty felt a lot of need had built up in those eight years and hoped the people locally would take advantage. “Dental insurance is not affordable for a lot of them.” Which seemed to be a true statement, evidenced by the fact the dental area of the clinic was the most heavily populated all weekend.
Before the interview ended I asked her what her thoughts were about the state of health care in our country.
“Health care should be more affordable for the people that work. I work and I have insurance. I even have dental insurance and eye insurance, but I still have to pay a lot for my glasses. If it was a little bit more affordable, the people who can’t afford it could afford it and then the working people wouldn’t have to put up the bill for everybody else.”
The general notion in this country is the people who work are paying insurance costs for the people who do not work. I am not so sure if this is the real problem, or at least the only problem. The health care industry could really help everyone if it would be more flexible and forgiving when pricing their services. The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care, does allow anyone and everyone access to insurance, but many of the people we speak with who are on Obama Care say they cannot afford the premiums. There has to be a way for people to get access to the vital health care they need to live a healthy life and it still be affordable.
I truly hope to live in a day where no one has to decide which is more important, paying their bills or paying for their health care. America truly is the greatest country in the world. I just hope one day we can say America has the best health care industry in the world as well.
By Justin Garrison