The best healthcare system in the world.

Waiting for healthcare in coal country. Photo Lucian Perkins, via Politico.

It is 5:30 a.m. on Saturday—the second day of the Wise County RAM clinic—when Brock begins allowing people into the clinic’s makeshift tents. Hundreds of people—many of them with their children in tow—have spent the entire night waiting outside or in their cars to get treatment, and they push forward and crowd the entrance.

First, Brock lets in people with wrist bands who were seen the day before and need to have more dental, eye or medical work done. The remaining 1,500 people to be seen on Saturday, who started receiving their admission tickets at 2 a.m. that morning, are then called in order. Those who did not receive tickets will have to repeat the entire process the following day. Many others will have to return in September.…

Gardner, executive director of the clinic that hosted RAM, recalls attending the funeral of an uninsured 28-year-old woman who had died of cervical cancer. A decade earlier, she’d had abnormal pap smears. By the time she was able to see a doctor about her pelvic pain, the undiagnosed cancer in her cervix had metastasized to all her organs.

When the Doctor Comes to Coal Country, at Politico.


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