Lunch at the clinic.
I went to the clinic for some drugs and a free lunch on this great sunny day.
You couldn’t ask for a better weather to help celebrate a health clinic that won’t turn some one away for lack of cash.
I got there early and it’s a normal day. Kids in the play area, staff checking people in. Nurses calling out names, people like me waiting in line for our Rx’s. The fire dept. shows up. Some poor soul getting a transport to the hospital.
Outside there is classic rock on a small sound system. A long tent giving some shade from the heat. Boy Scouts setting up tables. This gig is a slow start as some staff come out for a tasty lunch of sandwiches, fruit, veggies and cookies. No Soda! Very bad stuff for you, but water a plenty.
I sat to eat, watching the tables fill. I asked a woman across from me what she thought the ratio of staff-to-paient-to-other was. The guess was more staff/others.
As Sen. Murkowki was late I got to talk with Dr. Tom. I met Dr. Tom first at work. My work. He’s a hardcore skier-biker, in addition to being the Medical Director at the clinic.
We shared bike lock up stories. He’s had problems with security guards this summer too. Why do these rent a jerks want to fuck with bikers so much? He asked about my bloody eye. “These things can spontaneously happen, coughing, bearing down…” “Bong hit?”
“Yes! That’s a perfect example.” Mmm I’ll go for the cough. Don’t use bongs much. Never could get the things to work right.
The afternoon’s program got started with the announcement of the new building. Or at least the start of the hope of one. Followed be short talks about the different programs at the clinic.
Then it’s Dr. Tom’s turn to speak. And the attention level goes up a couple notches.
People had been polite, but they were listening to Dr. Tom.
He spoke in real terms. That ANHC is ‘cost effective’ That a treated diabetic was one who wouldn’t have a foot amputated. A treated depressed person was not suicidal and out of the hospital. And the treated opiate abuser was not out stealing car stereos to feed the addiction.
He is the only one to use the actual words “Health Care Reform.”
But Sen. Murkowki wasn’t there to hear.
She did show. Talked about 5 to 7 minutes, full of praise for the clinic. But there were no questions.
And there were no protesters.
I thought about trying to ask a question after. But there was a group around her faster than around the sandwiches. I know I could have muscled my way in there. But at this point I had been hanging out for over 2 1/2 hours. Time to bike back to Spenard, and use something other than a bong.