This weekend, as congressmen, staffers, and lobbyists clamor to pass a bill to provide health coverage to the 75 million under or uninsured, volunteer doctors and nurses will be busily working to help those without access to health care.
This free clinic in rural Virginia will provide free care to hundreds, many of whom will not receive any other medical attention until the same time next year.
The Wise County Remote Area Medical clinic will set up its makeshift examining tents at the Virginia/Kentucky Fair Grounds. Last year, the 20-bed clinic saw more than 1,500 patients in two and a half days, and the volunteers treated cases of diabetes, cancer, and dental infections.
"If you go down there you will see this from a different perspective," says Wendell Potter, a former health care executive who is now speaking out against the health care industry. Potter changed sides in the insurance battle after witnessing the Wise County clinic two years ago.
Presumably, our leaders on Capitol Hill will be too busy marking up the bill to go down there, but we still want them to see this from a different perspective -- your perspective.
If you, or someone you know, will be at the Wise County health clinic this weekend, either as a volunteer or as a patient, we want to hear from you. Tell us about your experience, about the treatment you receive and about the other people who attend. What do the volunteer doctors think about the heath care system and how to the patients want their elected officials to address? Send your stories from Wise County to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.