The healthcare issues in the United States have grown especially heated in recent months as the administration works towards introducing new policies that may bring about significant changes in the way the country’s citizens receive both physical and mental care. While scores of Americans find it difficult to navigate the complexities of modern health insurance companies, and a greater number still find it difficult to pay for health care services and insurance premiums, there are some people who simply do not have access to basic medical and psychological attention. The nation’s homeless are typically incapable of paying for emergency and other services out of pocket, often having little to no income with which to fund exorbitantly expensive bills. Additionally, the homeless are usually without any sort of health insurance. The prevalence of physical and mental health issues among the homeless, however, is considerable in comparison to the population at large, a problem which is greatly compounded by the lack of available quality care.
Recently, the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless held a health fair for local residents without a residence. The fair provided basic medical, dental, and mental health services, all in an effort to help those with little to no access gain a better chance of living healthily and happily. Those receiving treatment at the fair, while expressive their gratitude, noted their dissatisfaction with the current state of the health care system in the United States. Some mentioned the problems of those who are given medications only to relapse when supplies run out; others cited issues such as being turned away from emergency rooms. As the administration works towards the creation of a better health care system, it is hoped that the homeless in Austin and throughout the country will be given the attention and the access they need.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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