Free Health Care:Less Complex Than We’ve Made It?

Wise County, VA is an interesting place. Although seldom heard of both in and out of the state, it boasts the largest population in the state outside of any metropolitan area. Located in the Appalachian Plateau region of the state, There is a University of VA campus for both undergrad and graduate, and its advanced systems for backing up data allows the county to bill itself as “the safest place on earth” for businesses and others who store data in mass quantities.

All of these things are little points of interest you’d find in any county. One thing Wise has that no other county can boast: free health care for the uninsured and underinsured.

Every year hundreds of doctors, nurses and other trained professionals come to the southwestern area in Virginia to provide free care in a makeshift field hospital run by Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps. For 3 days of the year, long lines form and people come from around the country for a chance to be healed free of the skyrocketing charges of modern medicine.

The Washington Post has put together a series of multimedia on the RAMVC’s yearly project. In the series particpants called the 3-day event “a gift from god.” There are even volunteers available to stand in the long lines for those whose health has crippled their ability to wait for themselves.

What makes this possible? Why don’t we have one of these in every state? In every county? It may only be three days of care, but as those who attend will tell you, it’s certainly better than zero.

The answer is the star of a popular 70’s and 80’s television series, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Stan Brock, the former snake-wrestling TV star is the financial and literal figurehead for the RAMVC. Every year he is shocked by the turnout, not its quantity, but the ailments people come with. Brain tumors, other cancers are typical for the 800-some professionals at the event.

The cost is not incredibly high at $26,000. The professionals who participate purport that they are satisfied with their regular salaries and provide their services free of charge to Brock’s group.

Brock realizes that his 3-day event though significant in its originality, is a band-aid over a massive wound. He draws inspiration for a Medical Volunteer Corps before his television days in South Africa. After watching a series of very treatable diseases devastate native populations with no resistance before beginning the show in 1968, Brock vowed he’d return with a volunteer medical corps to help these people.

Costwise, the event is nearly free when you consider that most organ translplants cost about 4 times as much. Some would say the only key is Brock and a few good-hearted doctors. If only 49 or so more of us could learn what Brock has “we could fix this problem,”says Brock, “It’s just a question of priority.”


One Response to “Free Health Care:Less Complex Than We’ve Made It?”

  1. hanstheprof Says:

    Two very interesting topics in your recent posts. I appreciate the different insights you give into the health care debate. Nice work.

    While this is not an exercise in grammar, I encourage you to write shorter sentences and follow proper style guides. I’m seeing quite a few mistakes. Also be sure to include links in your text as they are worth two points in every post.

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