As the Supreme Court takes up a case that will decide on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and it's implications on Americans in the future, I am reminded of the plight that uninsured and underinsured American’s face daily.
Across the country these individuals rely on Free and Charitable Clinics for their health care. These clinics service patients with little to no state or federal support but rather rely on the generosity of individuals and grants. These clinics utilize thousands of volunteers and staff to provide quality health care to those who have nowhere else to go.
I am reminded of patients who have come to our one-day C.A.R.E. (Communities Are Responding Everyday) Clinics who tell me “2014 is very far away, I need help now.”
Today, for those who have limited or no access to health care except for what they receive at Free and Charitable Clinics, the Supreme Courts decision, whatever it maybe, is just another piece of news. For our patients, right now, they are making the tough decisions to go to work or go to the doctor, to buy health insurance or put food on the table.
Approximately 83% of our patients come from a working household. They are our neighbors, our friends and in some cases even our family. The uninsured are not some faceless mass but rather those who live and work in our country and in our communities, who love their family and children and who want a better life than the one they have, just like each of us. This week as the Supreme Court is deciding on health care, I will take an extra moment to remember the stories of the uninsured that have changed my life and I am humbled to know that Free and Charitable Clinics will continue to quietly provide quality health care to those who need it the most.
If you would like to become part of this grassroots movement please visit www.nafcclinics.org to volunteer or donate.