Thursday, October 27, 2011

Care Now!

Does your insurance cover dental care?
This weekend I caught a snippet on public radio about a nonprofit organization, CareNow! that was hosting a huge, free 4-day health clinic at the L.A. Sports Arena.  Thousands of people showed up (including Dr. Oz, although likely as a supporter rather than as a patient).  Surprisingly, according to the interview, about half of the attendees did have some kind of insurance.  However, their insurance was not sufficient enough to cover all healthcare needs, for example, dental care.

It brings to mind a line in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Access to health care, to me, seems to be an essential element in achieving life, liberty, and happiness.  I worry when health care becomes a commodity - an item for sale - and the cost for it pushes up, making it more and more unattainable.

I am thankful that organizations like CareNow! exist to step in and fill this very visible need.  But I worry, too, about how heavily our nation relies on volunteerism and goodwill to provide essential needs.  Do we have abundance in our nation that can keep the non-profit sector and generous giving afloat?  With the current state of economy, how long can it last?  I think I can say that every single person I know who lives in the U.S. donates some kind of time, talent, or treasure to our societal needs at large.  How much longer will this be sustainable?

For now, I will continue to applaud and support the efforts of those like CareNow!  The urgency is palpable. The need is here and it is now.

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