MORE ON HEALTH CARE
27 March 2010
I've had some response to yesterday's comments about the
new Health Care bill, especially after I mentioned on Facebook that my optometrist said
that in any country where socialized medicine had been tried it was a terrible failure.
The Brits are up in arms.
My friend diane, in England, is indignant at my
optometrist's suggestion that socialized medicine doesn't work.
What piffle he's talking! all you need to do is talk to my parents'
generation - who remember life BEFORE the NHS when children died because parents couldn't
afford to call out the doctor - or, who, like my uncle, were born with preventable
disabilities such as cerebral palsy because of problems during a birth. I remember being
horrified as a child when I was told that my grandparents could not afford to send for the
doctor when my grandfather got ill (and subsequently died of pneumonia) because you had to
*pay* for one!
The NHS is the safety net for all of us when it comes to life threatening and long term
conditions - there is nothing stopping anyone having private health insurance on top of
that, and some companies provide it too, but on a few occasions when we needed to see
specialists we were told by the GP that the NHS route was just as fast - for a few other
non life threatening things (back pain, hip replacements etc) people often go private.
From my friend Sian, in Scotland:
With my various chronic health conditions (since childhood) there is
no way my quality of life would be as good in the US as it is in the UK. I would be
unlikely to get proper cover for the long term conditions or the insurance would be so
high I wouldn't be able to pay it. I have complete peace of mind that I can walk into my
Doctor's surgery and get diagnostic tests, treatment and repeat medication FREE (currently
in Scotland prescription charges are being phased out). Most people in the UK cannot begin
to understand the situation in the US!
In the UK there are regular screening programmes free to everyone
(breast screening for example). A friend is diabetic and as well as all her medication she
gets free dietitian advice, free regular chiropody, free eye checks all on a regular basis
as well as regular visits to the nurse. What else - oh yes another friend had her young
daughter (under 5) in hospital for five weeks and the mother had accommodation provided
within the hospital for the whole time - free. I know two people who have been medically
evacuated by helicopter, one chap then had major heart surgery, physiotherapy and regular
checks.... all free. And then there's free nursing care for te elderly in Scotland......
shall I go on? <g> OK we "pay" for it through our taxes but as we've
discussed before there is almost parity with our taxes, but the US spend more on
From a fellow in Canada:
My Canadian Healthcare may not be perfect, but I really enjoy the
peace of mind knowing that whenever any of us gets sick or injured, there is health care
available at no extra charge. Go to the hospital, go to a clinic... oh sure, you might
have to pay parking or prescriptions, but that cast on your broken leg - NO CHARGE, having
professionals help deliver your baby-NO CHARGE, major operations - NO CHARGE, vasectomies
- NO CHARGE. Peace of mind....
A Canadian woman chimes in:
That the nonsense I hear people spouting about Canadian healthcare is
just that -- nonsense. It's not perfect, but it's a heck of a lot more perfect than the
U.S. system. Your opthalmologist couldn't be more wrong!
Another Canadian woman made this tongue in cheek comment after being
chided for spelling "neighbour" with a "u"
I spell neighbour correctly, just like I spell colour, cheque and
grey correctly. You're just jealous that with all of the health care savings we Canadians
have due to universal healthcare we can afford extra letters for our words.
And one more Canadian speaks up:
While far from perfect I would NEVER trade for your system even if I
had all the money to buy the best coverage. Not when that coverage could be revoked at
As for waits, well depending on your area that can be bad but urgent
cases do get seen quickly. Usually. You hear the odd horror story but compared to your
horror stories, again I wouldn't trade.
For routine screenings you just know you need to book months (or
years) in advance. But there is no "can I afford" a mammogram or colonoscopy.
I've had many of the former and two of the latter and you have enough on your mind when
being tested without worrying about money and coverage.
As for "letting the government" decide what health care you
get, I'd far rather that than letting some guy in a cubicle decide. The government is
responsible ultimately to the voters (us!). The cubicle guy is responsible up the chain
which ends at the SHAREHOLDERS. Which system will yield better results?
Of course this isn't going to be true socialized medicine, but it's
gotta be better than what we have, especially for those uninsured and those with
pre-existing conditions. So for all the nay-sayers, I say let's give this a chance.
Who knows? We just might find out that we LIKE it!
We are headed off to Santa Barbara in the morning for
Brianna's 2nd birthday -- We didn't realize this would also be a "visit grandma in
the hospital" visit. (We are so fortunate to have friends who are able to move
into our house and take care of all the dogs while we are away. Last time we were
away, Ashley moved in with her dogs and foster dogs and at one point there were ten dogs
We will be staying at Walt's sister's house in Santa
Barbara, but she isn't there. The house flooded a month ago and she and her husband
moved to a hotel while repairs are being made. Because of that, I don't know what
kind of wifi access I'm going to have and so don't know when journal entries will be
posted. I may have to post all journals from nearby Borders, which isn't such a bad