Monday, July 9, 2012

A Case for Universal Health Care - From Real Life, Not Theory

Melissa at Permission to Live wrote a very good piece about her experience with government run health care while living in Canada.  It's from the perspective of her real life experience, rather than theory spouted as talking points from politicians who have no clue what they are talking about.

My favorite line in this article:

I found out that religious rights were still respected. The Catholic hospital in the area did not provide abortions, and they were not required too."

Just like you wouldn't take any marital or child-rearing advice from Bill Gothard (who has never been married or had any kids), nor would you take advice from Mickey Mouse on how to sing bass, listening to a book-learned individual about real, day to day experiences that he or she has never lived through, should be avoided at all costs.

Give it a read!

How I Lost My Fear of Universal Health Care


  1. One of my frustrations with the US model is that it will never be healthCARE, only a kind of insurance that doesn't even help with everything that could happen.

    Growing up in the UK, though the NHS sucks for waiting lists, at least when my mom had to have a hysterectomy and later when angina put her in hospital, since we paid our (admittedly huge) taxes, she had all her care, food and all, for FREE. That's what I call healthCARE.

    Personally, I prefer the system where I pay my (admittedly incredibly high) taxes into the pot and benefit from them when I need them.

    Admittedly, there are waiting lists and shared wards with less privacy than the average American would like, BUT IT'S FREE - and they CARE for you as long as it takes, no questions about money asked. Human life should be held in such high esteem, in my opinion.

    And the other part of the British model is that you have the option of buying private insurance if you don't want to wait or share a room in a hospital. So you can still have insurance and better care, but you can never fall through the cracks in quite the same way as you do in the US sometimes.

    Someone I know in the US lost their job when their baby was in hospital for an extended period of time, then the baby died, and they were in debt over 1 million bucks. Nice to have to deal with medical bankruptcy and potential for no coverage for your own ailments when you're grieving.

    The US model can never be the NHS of the UK unless taxes sky-rocket initially, and I don't think many Americans could possibly afford that right now, nor more selfishly, would anyone be happy about it. But regardless, "better" insurance does not deserve to be called health "care". I take issue with that label, having lived through real healthcare.

  2. Here in Aus, we have Medicare, which is a similar scheme to NHS - we have an increase in taxes (1.5%, but low income is free), and there are waiting lists, but care is free.
    Like the UK, if you want to pay for private insurance to be able to get your own doctor, no waiting time and private rooms then it is up to you (if you are in a high income bracket and don't have private insurance, your taxes are a bit higher as well).
    Any emergency, you get seen straight away. Cancer? Care - including the chemo/radio - is free.
    Having a baby? Everything is free (trust me - I am going through number 3 right now!), including the fact that when the first scan showed that I was high risk for downs syndrome, I was back in 2 weeks later having an amniocentesis - as this is considered an emergency (is needs to be done at a certain point in the pregnancy), there was no waiting. I get in straight away for any scans/tests, as these need to be done in a certain time frame. Had the tests shown any problem (or indeed, if the 20 week scan shows a problem), there would be no stigma, and no charge for an abortion.
    Both previous pregnancies ended in emergency c-sections - these are free. This time around, as I have high risk births (pregnancy is a breeze for me), I need to see a registrar (senior doctor) for the c-section, and I have so far seen a registrar for every appointment. This is (you guessed it) all free.
    We do need to pay for our own medications from pharmacies, but these are government subsidised as well (pensioners and low income families pay only $5 for a script, others pay UP TO $25). Had this not been the case, my father could never afford his medication (if not government subsidised, it would be over $1000 per month, but he pays only $5)
    Had our family been in the US, I don't believe that we would have any more than one of my boys, and I doubt that my father would be alive (he has had prostate cancer, which was picked up in routine blood tests for his other chronic conditions).
    I can see nothing but good coming from the "ObamaCare" which has been brought in - as far as I can tell, it will ensure that those with low income will be able to get health care.

    1. Thanks for the awesome data. One thing to note...the poor have never had any trouble getting health care in theis country. Some fall through the cracks but not many. It's the families that are considered middle class that make up the majority of the 50 million that do not have health care.