Taking Care of Our Own in the U.S.A.:
While the Rude Pundit readily acknowledges that there's truly nothing more important in the world than the torture of Mitt Romney's now-dead dog or the boning habits of Secret Service agents or the amount of taxpayer money spent on party clowns by the GSA, occasionally we perhaps need to be reminded that there's a whole lot of people who are not as connected as we here in Blogsylvania.
For instance, that line up there is not for lottery tickets or seats at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee, where that photo was taken. No, it's so that poor people, without any or enough insurance, can see a doctor or a dentist. In one of many events put on by Remote Area Medical USA, nearly 1600 people ended up getting medical help at an auto racing track. In the United States of America. In the year of someone's Lord 2012.
This past weekend, people camped out overnight so they could get into the clinic. But on the first day, the demand for dentists, especially, was twice capacity, and 500 patients got turned away. Everyone working there is a volunteer, and the people waiting in line, for hours and hours, were mostly well-behaved. "We have virtually no trouble at all with the patients," said RAM founder Stan Brock. But because of the demand for dental work (and, yes, all those jokes about hillbillies and their lack of teeth is true), people ended up having to choose whether they wanted to visit the dentists or the opticians.
Chances are that most of you reading this will not have to ever make that choice. Chances are that you never had to physically wait in a line for over a day just to see a doctor.
RAM is running clinics every couple of weeks in Appalachia because it's so goddamned poor in that region. One in Virginia had as many as 6000 people show up for medical care.
By the way, the Tennessee legislature recently passed a bill saying that county courthouses could display the Ten Commandments.
Someone needs to take the Supreme Court on a field trip to one of these clinics. And whenever any idiot starts yammering about how you have to "wait in line" for operations or care in countries with socialized medicine, inform that idiot that Americans are already doing that. Just not the Americans the idiots ever think about.