Stories: Free healthcare in LA
Many Americans expect to receive health care when they need it. For those with health insurance provided by employers, the bulk of their health care needs are covered. And the Affordable Care Act is matching insurance plans with new patients every day.
But there are still millions of Americans who go without health care. Some rely on hospital emergency rooms for their care, or must choose paying for food and lodging over taking care of their medical needs.
In Los Angeles, the non-profit organization Care Harbor runs a clinic that provides free dental, vision, women's and general health care. For four days, hundreds of doctors, dentists, optometrists and nurses vounteer their supplies and knowledge to take care of nearly 5,000 patients.
Some patients are employed with health insurance, but don't have coverage for vision or dental. Others are unemployed and can't afford new glasses, mammograms, or new dentures. Still others are undocumented immigrants who live at or below the poverty line and for whom health care is financially out-of-reach.
Care Harbor LA held its fifth clinic in September 2014, and plans to expand to Detroit in April 2015. The founder of the clinic, Don Manelli, says he hopes to run the clinic until it's no longer needed.