Last night on 60 minutes there was a segment on remote area medical (link here to their website)
This is an organization that was originally set up to provide free medical services to third world countries and is now providing these services in the USA.
It absolutely BLOWS my mind, that the country which touts itself as the "richest" country in the world has SOOOO many people, and I'm not talking here about drug addicts or criminals, I'm talking about WORKING people, people contributing to the tax base in the USA, who are without adequate health insurance. I think it is criminal.
Now I don't live in the USA, so it may appear that it is "easy" for me to criticise a system that I do not live under. However, I DID live there, and my spouse lived all of her life there until recently coming to Canada to be with me, so I know something of what I say. We experienced what it was like to be both working full time and still fall short of being adequately covered by medical insurance when we needed medical services.
Now I do think that there are many opportunities afforded people in the USA which are not afforded to people who live elsewhere in the world. However, medical services are not one of them. I don't believe that just by "working your butt off" you can provide for your family in the USA. My cousin (whom I love, but whose opinion differs greatly from mine) recently posted on his blog (you can check out his blog here), the following comment:
"humanitarian organizations are beginning to understand that by giving away free handouts to people who need help you create dependency; and by doing what you think is helping them, in actuality you are only crippling them more. By creating dependency you only stifle a person’s creativity, drive and development; and like a child that is carried around by his mother his entire life, these people will never learn to fend and provide for themselves. These people will never reach their full potential and become responsible citizens that contribute to society. Instead, these free handouts dig these people into an even deeper holes from which they will likely never climb out of. The real key to the solution that public health professionals are finding, is to empower the individual to help themselves bring about the change needed in their lives."
I don't believe that the people who lined up for medical services provided by remote area medical are irresponsible people unable to fend and provide for themselves. They are hard working people, trapped by a system that has that created a "deep hole" which their hard work cannot get them out of. They are contributing to a society that does not recognize them or their needs.