I've often wondered to why it is the way it is in the US.
How I miss the days when you could die because you were poor, from treatable conditions, with freedom from government intervention.
Yeah - I feel a little confused and out of touch with things as they are now in the US as I haven't lived there for seven out of the past eight years. But this has been a hot topic at work as apparently there was an episode of Panorama on this very subject aired sometime recently. I don't watch tv, so I missed it, but I was regaled on all sides from the other staff to the prisoners who watched it about how the US is little better than a third world country in the way that they treat their sick, and they were telling me for instance that this guy who had gangrene in his leg was turned away from the hospital because he didn't have $20,000 upfront to pay the bill BEFORE they amputated.
Is this true now?
All I know is that when my husband and sister who both work(ed) in inner-city ER's - him in Philadelphia and my sister in Atlantic City- they HAD to treat whoever walked through the door, insurance or no insurance- money upfront or no money upfront.
Yeah - people were then billed for that treatment - but if they only had $5 a month to spare toward paying it off that's what was accepted.
Has that changed? Are they turning accident victims and gunshot wounds and stabbings away from the ER's now - BEFORE they treat them and bill them?
I don't know - I'm asking.
The whole situation is indefensible. I agree with Rockhead that health care should be as free and available as education. I said that yesterday and a traveller student of mine - who is 40 and currently learning his alphabet and how to sound out words, having never been made to go to school in his youth, then turned it into a debate about why us gorgio's (non-travellers) feel we have the right to inflict education on children. He said, 'I never went to school and it didn't hurt me,' - I was too kind to remind him to look at where he was sitting and with whom at the age of 40. I just said, 'Yeah - all cultures are different, aren't they?'
But I can't defend this healthcare fiasco going on in the US.
And Chai - I've always had jobs with insurance through my jobs too- but I doubt they paid 75 or 80% of the cost because I remember paying over $400 a month (as a public school teacher) for insurance for my two children. It was free for me and their father got it through the hospital he worked at - but even a hospital wouldn't insure the family of an employee at a reasonable rate. We got it for the kids at my job because it would have been even more at his job - he got it at his job for himself for free.
So if $400 a month is 25% of the total bill for insurance for a family of 4 - we're talking over $1500 a month for health insurance - that's like another mortgage payment.
It's just not feasible for most people.
We should all be ashamed of ourselves. What happened to that whole health care reform thing? Is it the majority of the American people who are so selfish and greedy and only care about themselves?
I'd hate to believe that - but I will tell you - that's what it looks like to the rest of the world.