From the halls of Congress to Governor's mansions and statehouses across the country, Republicans continue to wage war on the Affordable Care Act, threatening to take coverage and care away from the millions of Americans the law is already helping.
In the House, Republicans took up their 37th vote to repeal Obamacare on Thursday, and 20 states currently oppose the Medicaid expansion that could offer care to some of the neediest Americans who currently have no insurance and little means to afford health care, even when they're sick.
But thanks to charity efforts, there are still some options, and this week Rev. Al Sharpton announced Urgent Care--an important initiative msnbc is taking as it renews its commitment to provide health care to those who lack insurance by joining forces with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NAFC).
How can I help?
Beginning this summer, PoliticsNation will formally take up the cause that was launched by the network in 2009, which has provided health care to over 15,000 Americans who don’t have regular access to doctors. msnbc and NAFC workers return to New Orleans on July 3rd, setting up a clinic at the convention center. The free clinic will be open to the public, providing each patient a diagnosis, prescriptions, and information on where they can continue to get health services and aftercare.
To make that happen, we need donations and volunteers.
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Why should I help?
This upcoming clinic will be the eighth that msnbc has sponsored, returning again to New Orleans, where the partnership first started in 2009. The New Orleans community continues to need care, as NAFC's Executive Director Nicole Lamoureux explained on Thursday's show. Despite the eight years that have passed since Hurricane Katrina, not all of the hospitals in the city have been rebuilt. "There are people who really want to go to a doctor, but there isn’t one to go to," she said. "At the New Orleans clinic, we’re going to find people who haven’t seen a doctor since last time we were there."
"Eighty percent of the patients who come to free clinics across the country, and our one-day clinics, have jobs," she said on Thursday's PoliticsNation. "They're not just lazy people doing nothing. They're working everyday. They've making that choice between putting food on the table or getting health care and no one should make that choice."
"Health care should be a right, not a privilege."
Those past clinics have provided invaluable care, with patients treated for everything from basic dental care to hypertension, even heart disease and cancer. Numerous patients have required immediate emergency care and have been transported directly to the ER where they were treated for severe medical conditions. The clinic staff has helped to save lives too -- at least seven patients who came to past clinics sought psychological help because they were contemplating suicide.
"It's our job to take care of our neighbors, that's who we're here for," Lamoureux said.
Over the past 2 years, msnbc viewers have donated almost 4-million dollars and over 15,000 volunteers, doctors, and nurses have come together to run them. We cannot continue to offer this support without the help of our viewers. Please consider clicking the button below to give what you can to help those in need.
As Lamoureux explained, "When you hear people say to me, 'I can't afford it, I can't afford four-dollar meds because I don't know where my next meal's coming from, because I'm too busy paying my bills,' we're here to help. That's what we're gonna do. That's what you're helping us do. That's what msnbc's helping us do."