Maria Gomez knows firsthand the devastation that can hit families who don't have health insurance. Gomez is chief executive of Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care in the District. The clinic serves people who either have no insurance or are underinsured.
Dilian Gomez, 21, who is not related to Maria Gomez, is one. She comes to the clinic for some medical services, offered at negotiated prices. But sometimes Gomez just goes without care to save money.
"I had a very high fever once," she said through an interpreter. "But I just waited it out. The fever persisted for three or four days, then subsided."