Larry Bays uses a mirror to get his first look at his new dentures, which he received during the Remote Area Medical clinic in Wise, Va., on July 22. (Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

The July 25 Metro article “Giving more smiles to more folks” was uplifting, but it brought to light a travesty. I was moved, humbled and inspired by the unselfish dedication of the Virginia dentists and staff — truly angels among us — who gave their time at the annual Remote Area Medical clinic in Wise, Va. Their commitment and devotion to humanity and their practice should serve as a model for all other practitioners. To see the excitement on Larry Bays’s face as he got new dentures was outstanding. His wish was granted; we all owe a debt of gratitude.

It is disturbing, though, that it had to come that way.

This article highlighted the need and basic right of every American to have access to comprehensive health care. Period. Yet, there remains, as this article exposed, a gross indifference to and, worse, ignorance of those who do not have it.

We elect representatives to represent us, every American, wherever we live. They should acknowledge that every American has this basic right to health care. Our elected representatives should do their jobs and enact responsible, sensible, comprehensive health-care legislation. It’s not unreasonable; it is expected and absolutely critical that they responsibly address the biggest issue facing the nation. Anything else is unconscionable and inhumane. 

No American should ever have to drive hundreds of miles and camp out for the mere possibility of relief from grievous pain.

Jeff Kidwell, Bethesda