Editor's Correspondence
April 25, 2011

A Free Clinic Paradox

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Health Care Sciences, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.


Copyright 2011 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2011

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(8):782-790. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.143

Darnell has presented a detailed report of her major national survey of free clinics and an illuminating discussion of how vital this asset is as a component of the nation's health care “safety net.”1 Yet considering the enormous resource base of this fine but relatively obscure national health care asset—its thousand or so clinics and countless hours of professional and semiprofessional volunteer health care providers plus paid staff and in-kind community-based contributions—what comes to mind is the economists' major inconvenient truth, “there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.”

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