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Posted at 4:18 PM ET, 08/ 4/2010

D.C.'s first free clinic draws hundreds

By Washington Post editors

By late afternoon on Wednesday, more than 700 people had been treated at the first large-scale free clinic in the District, and the lines were only getting longer.

"Some didn't think we'd get this kind of response in D.C., where only ten percent of the population lacks insurance," said Nicole Lamoreaux, executive director of the Association of Free Clinics. "But look at this crowd. There are a huge amount of people here in need of these services."

The event, which cost $300,000, was underwritten by 44,000 donors.

Many of the patients shared their horror stories while waiting in line -- the man who was laid off last year and couldn’t afford his son’s back-to-school physical exam, the uninsured 82-year-old from Leesburg who hid her puppy in a small canvas bag and murmured, "when you’re 82, you have to have something wrong with you. I just don’t know what I have."

Others expressed frustration that, with so much talk about health care reform, they were still forced to come to a convention center for medical care.

"They say the system is changing, but it doesn't feel like it right now," said James Robinson, who lost his job and his health insurance in February.

Stay with Postlocal.com for more on this story.

-- Kevin Sieff

By Washington Post editors  | August 4, 2010; 4:18 PM ET
Categories:  DC  
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Comments

why is it that this event/story was not advertized in advance by this newspaper...
this is the first notice and if only 700 persons of so just imagine how many more folks in dc/md/and va could benefit from what services were avail...most cant afford dentist cleaning or filling or perhaps blood work and prescriptions refill for exstisting medication..are you listening capitol hill...come down from your cloud and get to it...instead of highway legislation how about providing health care for those who need it...

Posted by: wmnatzakanian | August 4, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Right. I didn't know about it either. But apparently a lot of people did.

Posted by: sugarstreet | August 4, 2010 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I was one of the intake volunteers at this event and in the 8 or so hours I worked I saw people from all walks of life, white, black latino Chinese Muslim Catholic Jewish, working and the unemployed, children lots of them. When are the butt holes we elected going to wake up that it's not about the bottom line but about us Americans.
God help us all.

Posted by: humbertomisteroni | August 4, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

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