The overwhelming need for better healthcare systems in this country has been demonstrated again in Ingleside, California, where a medical charity has offered free testing, check-ups, and dental care to thousands of people. Lining up for hours and sometimes staying overnight was less onerous for some potential patients than going more months or years without care. How can a country and a state as prosperous as ours offer so little to so many people. The dental needs alone are overwhelming, but we haven’t begun to address those. Let’s hope Americans can at least agree on how to provide adequate medical care for all the people who need it.
One sign of hope, also noted in the N.Y. Times, is the attention that is now being paid to areas in the U.S. which do manage to provide reasonably-priced care. One issue with healthcare is that it has to be local. If good care doesn’t exist close to where you live, you are out of luck–you can’t order many medical services online. By looking at the communities that have overcome some of the price barriers, other cities can learn how to do it. One key seems to be the provision of electronic records that can be shared by providers. Moving more of our medical record keeping online would not only improve jobs but also offer new jobs for the young people coming out of schools and colleges. This is certainly a step worth taking.
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