I’ve written about the injustices of Medicaid: It provides lousy care, make prescriptions more expensive for everyone, and fosters government dependence by inhibiting self-reliance. And get this, last week the Wall Street Journal reported that state governments use it as a money laundering scheme (HT, FIRM).
Too bad you become a criminal if you try diverting your tax “donations” to Medicaid to a charity that actually deserves it. I’ve proposed a charity tax-credit to facilitate that. Until that happens, deserving medical care charities will have to compete on a very tilted playing field against the politically-connected Medicaid and SCHIP.
What follows are a few examples of such charitable organizations.
At StateHouseCall.org, Grace-Marie Turner writes:
The way to care for the poor is through true charity — not government “charity” devised by politicians, writes Dr. Alieta Eck, a specialist in internal medicine and founder of the Zarephath Health Center. Government should step aside and let the physicians and the communities work together to solve the problem.
For example, the Zarephath Health Center, which started in 2003, is open only 10 hours a week and yet currently provides free care to 200 patients per month — completely through the kindness of volunteer doctors and nurses.
Expenses last year totaled $44,000, so calculations tell us that the physicians provided care, including free medicines, for an average of $22 per patient visit, writes Dr. Eck. Compare that with the average hospital ER visit of well over $1,000.
Patients at Zarephath were grateful as they understood the sacrifice of the unpaid staff, and many transitioned to private physician offices once their financial situations improved, writes Dr. Eck.
These patients might not still have New Jersey’s overpriced health insurance, but they can pay something toward the real cost of their care, knowing that a backup of a free clinic still exists should they fall into hard times again.
In Colorado, Delta Dental provides charity care. Just last week the Rocky Mountain News reported that “Delta Dental offers care to uninsured.” The charity division of Delta Dental, Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation partners with Kids in Need of Dentistry (KIND), which “a nonprofit organization that provides high-quality, affordable dental care to children in need throughout Colorado. Since 1912, we have helped thousands of children each year get the dental services they need at a cost their families can afford.”
Another voluntary charity in Colorado is Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics, “a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing accessible, affordable, high-quality healthcare to children and adolescents, regardless of insurance status or family’s ability to pay.”