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Thursday, November 7, 2013

operates at no cost to taxpayers

Though the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges has dismayed even the law’s supporters, the problem the ACA is designed to address is real enough: Millions of Americans, even those with insurance, lack access to adequate healthcare. In a voluntary society, civil-sector groups would step up to provide social services, like healthcare for the needy.
Government intervention in health markets currently crowds out such services—but not completely. Remote Area Medical (RAM), a Tennessee-based charity that is completely privately funded, offers a glimpse of what voluntary healthcare might look like. The group treats all comers at free weekend clinics dotted across the country.
“Remote Area Medical provides stuff that no one else provides,” says Dr. David Milzman, a professor of emergency medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine and emergency physician at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “They can make 1,200 to 1,500 pairs of glasses a day. Talk about a life-changing thing: Doing an eye exam and then giving glasses to someone who’s never had glasses.”
Originally founded to do expeditions in South America, the group has shifted its focus homeward because of the need here in the United States. At a typical event, over a thousand patients arrive in the wee hours of the night to make sure they get a spot in line. Many drive for hours and sleep in their cars.


Read more: http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/bureaucrats-against-healthcare-access#ixzz2jxjpVtt2