Ever since the Occupy movement started we've heard how the top 1% continues to get richer while the rest of the 99% suffers. The issues range from economic and social inequality to lack of accountability for the corrupt financial system that has this country, seemingly, in an unrecoverable amount of debt.
Another issue that is often spoken about is health care. The latest legislation H.R. 676 prohibits health insurers from refusing coverage based on medical history, requires most employers to provide coverage for workers, extends Medicaid to more low‐income individuals, subsidizes low- and middle-class Americans to buy health insurance and creates a health insurance exchange to compare policies, rates, and other benefits.
While I certainly understand the goal behind H.R.676 and the need for coming up with a solution to our healthcare crisis, relying on our government to solve an issue as complicated as healthcare is a little scary. Providing health care to those who cannot afford it is excellent, however, does this mean the government should control all of it? We cant even balance our own checkbook, $15 trillion, REALLY?
So whose responsibility is it to offer health care to those who simply can't afford it? In our capitalistic society, the bottom line of a P&L statement trumps human morality every time. How do we balance this reality with the needs of those who really need help?
Ironically enough, a group of America's elite or top 1% in South Florida have come together to offer our community a solution. That's right folks, free health care for those who cannot afford it. The name of the project is UHI Medical Clinic and it is located at 4851 NW 183rd Street in Miami, Florida. UHI Medical Clinic operates under the Florida Department of Health's Volunteer Health Care Provider Program whose mission is to promote access to quality health care for the medically underserved and uninsured residents of Florida through the commitment of volunteers. UHI provides preventative and primary care to the tri-county area residents.
Can you believe it? UHI has been providing this healthcare service since 2008. They operate six days a week and currently have 34 physicians registered as volunteers who are playing a very active role in providing pro-bono services. UHI currently provided a diabetic and hypertension screening at Community Fest 2011, where more than 100 patients were seen by their volunteer physicians and were advised of their BP and blood sugar.
Oh yeah, there is one more important fact I forgot to mention. The top 1% that have founded, funded and currently volunteer for this clinic are all Muslim! That's right folks, they are Muslim and they are practicing their faith by providing free health care services to the entire community regardless of religion, race or ethnicity.
Shabbir Motorwala, R.Ph.,C.Ph, secretary, of UHI medical clinic says, "As Muslims, we are morally obliged to come to the aid of the families who are deprived of health coverage, and we have, at the same time, to work toward reforming the system so that health coverage is extended to all those who require it. Only then can we be true to our faith and our humanity."
Believe in Allah and His messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity), - for them is a great Reward. Quran 57:7
Could this be a solution to our health care problem in the United States? Can this model be followed throughout the country? Can faith-based or community-based healthcare solve our problems? One might argue that this group is the exception, however if you didn't know about this group, how can you possibly know about other community or faith based groups? How many other clinics are operating like this throughout Florida? According to the Florida Department of Health's Volunteer Health Care Provider Program there are over 100 active clinics throughout Florida.
Obviously this alone will not solve all our problems, but what a great example for the rest of the country to follow and incorporate into helping the needy.
So next time you hear about the 1% and how they don't care about the 99%, ask them which 1%?
As a matter of fact, the next time you hear a politician bash Islam or insult Muslims forward them this article. Say, talk is cheap, this group of Muslims puts their money and time where their mouth is to benefit the community and ultimately benefit humanity.
I also encourage the lawmakers to sit down with these groups, take examples from these successful models and incorporate similar ideas into any further legislation regarding healthcare. Better yet, the Insurance Companies should sit down and incorporate these models into their business plan.
May God Bless all those who founded, fund, support and volunteer for UHI Medical Clinic and similar ventures across America. Ameen!
If you reside in South Florida and know someone who needs healthcare that cannot afford it, have them contact UHI at (305) 620-7797.