Today was one of those days with a bunch of little errands that is made so much easier with a bike. Instead of driving to multiple places and hassling with parking, I just rode the bike, and I’m pretty sure it was faster. My last stop was the People’s Community Dental Center on 30th & Greenmount. As part of the People’s Community Health Center across the street, they provide affordable health care on a sliding scale. I made an appointment there because they’re close to my house, and they take my health insurance. I locked up to a rack outside the main office and headed inside where I filled out some papers, waited a surprisingly few minutes, and then I got an exam from Dr. Mary as she told me about the origin of the word “cocktail,” which she learned from the internet and thought I’d find interesting, seeing as I have a Ph.D. in rhetoric. I’ll have to make another appointment for a cleaning, and then separate appointments to deal with four small cavities. Because you know what people on fixed incomes have lots and lots of? Time, to shuttle back and forth to hours-long appointments. That’s not my situation, but for lots of folks, I bet that proves difficult. This place is fantastic, and I love that they ask on their intake forms if you have hobbies, what religious or political principles the doctors might need to know about, that asks how you learn best–these are the questions we need to answer in order to treat each other with respect and as whole people, something lots of doctor’s offices fail to do–but I wonder why this schedule. Dr. Mary said it has something to do with keeping care affordable, but wow, what a difference money makes–it buys lots of things, and one of those things is relatively quick and efficient care. We need a fairer way to distribute care more evenly. For today, though, I’m glad this place is here, because everyone’s entitled to quality health care, and this place clearly does a lot of that.