Seattle King County Clinic offers free dental, vision & medical care at KeyArena
SEATTLE - More than 4,000 people will be getting free dental, vision and medical services this weekend thanks to the Seattle/King County Clinic underway at KeyArena.
Musician Michael Gelotte of Maple Valley is getting dental care he really needs along with a few other critical medical services.
“I'm here for a root canal and a crown,” said Gelotte. “I was able to get an EKG and they drew blood today.”
He has already received about $8,000 worth of services at no cost on the first day of this year's clinic. It's offering free dental, vision, and medical services to anyone for four days.
“This is such a service to those of us who fall between the cracks," said Gelotte.
Like many Americans, he's on a fixed income and struggles to pay for health care and health insurance.
“It's pricing people out of the market. It's raising premiums. It's not really affordable. I sometimes jokingly call it the 'Un-Affordable Care Act' because it's increased costs,” said Gelotte.
Many others at the clinic Thursday say they too are worried about the future of Affordable Care Act.
“The scale of this clinic is pretty mind-boggling that we're able to serve 4,000 people over four days,” said Meredith Li-Vollmer with Seattle/King County Clinic.
Catalina Huerta is exhausted after lining up at 8 p.m. on Wednesday to get service on Thursday. But, she said the wait is worth it because she cleans homes and doesn't have health insurance.
She's getting root canal. So is her husband. They’re both saving a lot of money.
“Maybe $4,000 today, my husband and me,” said Huerta.
Sidney Allrud is attending the Seattle/King County clinic for the very first time to get a tooth extracted.
“I'm a Medicaid patient, so getting treatment is very expensive if it's not covered by my insurance,” said Allrud.
She said the care and attention from thousands of medical professionals is priceless.
“It's incredible. Such an amazing blessing,” said Allrud. “They're just phenomenal.”
This is the fourth year the clinic has been held. This year, organizers say they're connecting patients to community health centers so they can continue to get medical care after the clinic is over.
“Our goal is to make sure people get health care more easily throughout the year and not through just this clinic,” said Li-Vollmer.
The Seattle/King County Clinic is free and open to everyone. It runs through Sunday at KeyArena. No identification or proof of citizenship is required.
Each patient receives a free admission ticket for a maximum of two services each day (medical care, dental or vision). Patients may begin waiting in the waiting area at 12:30 a.m. each day. Admission tickets are distributed starting at 5 a.m. Patient registration begins at 6:30 a.m.