Nets Compare America To Third World Shocked Many Come For Free 2009: Broadcast Networks

Nets Compare America to Third World Shocked Many Come for Free

All three broadcast networks this week have reported on the charity Remote Area Medical’s offer of free medical care at a temporary facility in
Los Angeles, citing the arrival of many patients as a sign of how many Americans there are who need “free health care,” and even relaying the words of program volunteers who compared the health care challenges of some Americans to problems in Third World countries like Guatemala and India. But only by watching ABC’s Good Morning America did one see a soundbite of program founder Stan Brock informing viewers that his organization does not even screen patients to learn if they really are in need financially. Brock: It’s first-come, first-served basis, no questions asked, no financial information required. There are a lot of good programs in this country, but they tend to have hurdles that the patient has to leap through in order to get the care. Reporters seemed shocked that thousands of people would stand in line for hours to receive hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars worth of free medical care. The NBC Nightly News has highlighted the free clinic twice this week. On Tuesday, anchor Brian Williams announced: And now we have an illustration of just how big the problem of affordable health care has become in this country. A group of doctors who started out providing free medical services in Third World countries has also been working in this country, and they’ve been seeing more Americans ask for their help than ever before. On Thursday, substitute anchor Ann Curry revisited the story: “On Tuesday, we reported on a group of doctors offering free care at a health fair. And since then, the demand for their services has become even more overwhelming.”
After correspondent Miguel Almaguer informed viewers that the program was founded to serve the Third World but has increasingly been providing care in the United States, he showed a soundbite of program founder Brock comparing what he has seen treating patients in America to Guatemala. Brock: “There really is no difference. This could be Guatemala. There is no difference.”

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