March 2, 2008

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If you're looking for a story that shows the abysmal state of health care in America, look no further. 60 Minutes traveled to Knoxville, TN to film a free clinic set up by a charity group called Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps, or RAM. The charity was initially started in the 90's by it's founder, Stan Brock, former co-star of Wild Kingdom, to give health care relief to remote areas of Latin America, but after watching this segment it's clear that America's health care system doesn't look too much different than that of a third world country.

Brock has no family, takes no salary and has no home. He is completely dedicated to RAM, as are the doctors and nurses who volunteer their time and expertise. The local response to this RAM clinic in Knoxville was amazing, yet profoundly saddening. Hundreds of people showed up for the clinic, many drove hours to get there and waited up to seven hours just to get a spot in line to be seen -- and ultimately, hundreds had to be turned away. These were not Cadillac driving welfare queens, they were average, working Americans who are under insured or have no insurance at all. The most disheartening part of it all is to see how many of these people had avoided seeking medical treatment for years because they couldn't afford it and are now reduced to begging for help. It's a microcosm of our medical system and it's a damn ugly sight in the world's wealthiest nation.

The full video and transcripts available at

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