We may not be able to get everybody in the United States covered with health insurance while reducing our total health care costs, balancing our federal budget, and extending our life expectancy to the highest in the world without giving up some lower priority things and disrupting our rather comfortable and often unhealthy lifestyles, but there are simple health care problems we can solve at a nominal cost.
We may not be able to or even have any desire at all to "fundamentally transform America," but we can, with the help of a willing doctor, fundamentally transform the lives of individuals suffering from easily correctable medical problems that would never be left untreated in the United States, with or without insurance.
Nicholas Kristof writes about one group of such persons and an organization founded to assist them, Worldwide Fistula Fund, in today's column in the NYTimes. Give Well, an organization that evaluates charities says they don't have enough information about Worldwide Fistula Fund to recommend donations to it. It is not listed at all on Charity Navigator.
Turns out Kristof wrote about a similar organization, The Fistula Foundation, in 2003 and in 2005 and that organization was also featured on Oprah Winfrey's show in 2004 and 2005. It gets a four star rating by Charity Navigator, and it's Executive Director is paid only $104,650 as of 2007.
Here is another organization working on the same problem, The Fistula Care Project. It is part of EngenderHealth which has been around since 1943 and which also emphasizes family planning, "reproductive services," etc. They get a three star rating from Charity Navigator, and the director makes about a quarter million dollars.
I'm sending my donation to The Fistula Foundation today.