So, we’re relying on Walgreens now?

I’m waiting for the day when a Walgreens store opens up next to an existing Walgreens.

The shops already seem to dot every other block in my neighborhood.

Now, it appears that Walgreens may become an important player in the healthcare world. Scary thought.

According to this story by U.S. News & World Report, the Take Care clinics located in many of the country’s Walgreens will offer free healthcare services — for such ailments as skin conditions, respiratory problems and allergies — to people who are unemployed or uninsured. The offer of free care lasts throughout the year.

There is a catch, though: To be eligible, workers or their family members must have visited a Take Care clinic in the past. So head on over to your Walgreens, tell the doc there you’re coughing and buy a cough drop or something.

This is more than a bit depressing, though, isn’t it? We’re looking at Walgreens here as a savior of sorts in the healthcare world. Walgreens! The same place where you can buy chocolate licorice and Pete the Repeat Parrot.

That health-insurance reform can’t come soon enough.