As part of its ongoing series on health care reform, The News & Observer’s Martha Quillin has an excellent story on today’s front page about the struggles of Gail Johnson, a 55-year-old woman whose employer does not offer health insurance. The article touches on several issues that Dr. Atkinson has discussed on this blog, including the need for an increased access to primary care and the value of establishing a medical home.
Like millions of Americans without insurance, Gail Johnson didn’t go to the doctor regularly. She came to the WakeMed Emergency Department when she got sick, receiving care in one of the most expensive settings possible. As part of our effort to help uninsured people like Gail find a medical home where they can receive primary care, we treated Gail, and then suggested she follow-up with Alliance Medical Ministry. She told Quillin that the non-profit organization saved her life by helping her manage her diabetes.
Gail’s story is a good reminder of the challenges that we face with our current health care system and of the value that reform can bring to those without insurance. It’s worth a read.