I wish cable television covered this as much as it covered whackjobs screaming about death panels.
For the second day in a row, thousands of people lined up on Wednesday â€” starting after midnight and snaking into the early hours â€” for free dental, medical and vision services, courtesy of a nonprofit group that more typically provides mobile health care for the rural poor.
Like a giant MASH unit, the floor of the Los Angeles Forum, the arena where Madonna once played four sold-out shows, housed aisle upon aisle of dental chairs, where drilling, cleaning and extracting took place in the open. A few cushions were duct-taped to a folding table in a coat closet, an examining room where Dr. Eugene Taw, a volunteer, saw patients.
At the Forum, those seeking medical treatment included unemployed people who had lost insurance when they lost their jobs as well as some people with insurance who said they could not afford their deductibles or needed services that their carriers didn’t cover.
Volunteer nurse DeAnn McEwen, who works in Long Beach, said she saw one woman, a cancer patient, who had maxed-out her benefits under her HMO and couldn’t afford more out-of-pocket expenses.
The tired, sweaty crowd outside The Forum grew noisy when volunteers announced that they would need to return the next day to see a dentist.
“I don’t have money to come back tomorrow! I borrowed money to get here today!” yelled Ontario resident Jocelyn Langham, 53. A cracked tooth and the fruitless 10-hour wait had frazzled her nerves.
Wow, and the righties tell us they only have waiting lines in Canada.