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So, I was having a heated ‘debate’ with the Tall Guy about our National Health Service (NHS). My argument was that us Britons don’t know how lucky we are, that anybody who desperately needs to be treated will be treated first, and questions asked later.
Not like the American system, where they virtually check your wallet before they determine, whether they’ll let you live or not.

He argued that, at least Americans don’t pay the same rate of income tax as we do in order to support the ball and chain that the NHS has become. He also argued that waiting lists grow longer every year here for vital organ operations.

He has a point, as do most of the other Britons who use the same argument, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s a certain security in knowing that if the love of my life was rushed to hospital with a life-threatening injury, the medical staff at any of our hospitals would do everything they could, to make sure they could save him first, rather than checking to see if he had adequate health insurance.

The US do lots of things better than us Brits, but I’m afraid that looking after their people aint one of ‘em.

*Cough* Katrina anybody? *cough, cough*


  • Eve Vaughn
    January 29
    7:04 pm

    I think there’s plus and minuses to both plans. Canada has Universal Health coverage also, but the rich people come to the US to get treated. It’s a catch 22 almost. Sure you get care, but will you get the best care?


  • Sam
    January 29
    7:31 pm

    Having lived in the US and England, I have to say that the national healthcare system is terrific. My twins were born prematurely and without insurence in the US, and 20 years later we still owe money to the doctors. (We had a 75 year payment plan in order to pay off the nearly quarter of a million dollar medical bill the babies incurred. The hospital, which was non-profit, waved our bill after three years. I don’t think I ever cried so hard from sheer relief. But the doctors’ bill – nearly 60,000$, is still being paid off. *sigh*)
    Here in France we pay mega taxes but healthcare is free. When I broke my arm I paid a grand total of 14 euros for emergency room service, x-rays, specialist, and 4 visits.
    Oh – and health insurance in the US costs us over 150$ a month for my son in college, and it costs my other son (here in France) 80$ for the whole year.


  • Rocio
    January 29
    11:13 pm

    I don´t know if I should post. Being in a third world country, we do have free hospitals, and we do not pay much for madical plans. But in our hospital s. most of the time if you need a band aid you need to buy it yourself!! If you need Xrays they take you to a place to get it..for a price!!
    But the good thing is that we don´t have that many people alive by medical support but not longer living!


  • Anonymous
    January 30
    12:43 am

    I’ve never heard of anyone being denied life-saving, emergency care in hospitals in America. Be assured that doctors in the US will save your life, regardless of insurance.


  • azteclady
    January 30
    5:49 am

    I need to find links to the many articles recently about that woman in South Florida who still has a bullet still lodged in her skull, because the hospital will not operate to extract it until/unless she has proper health insurance. This happened in January 2006, if memory serves…


  • Dawn
    January 30
    1:06 pm

    Health care was one of the reasons that my parents recently came back to the UK from Florida.

    They loved it out there, the lifestyle, everything, but they’re now getting to the age where things are starting to happen to them and they just could not afford to pay the huge bills that arose just from basic medical care.


  • Jaid Black
    January 30
    1:12 pm

    I don’t have any experience with ER rooms in the UK, but I can say that I went to several American doctors with a certain problem… all of them told me different things and suggested different treatments. Tried em all, none of them worked. Get to London, same problem arises (legs in excruciating pain) and a doctor is called in. This doctor was *so* thorough… even measured my damn legs to make sure they were even. An aspirn and a pair of surgical stockings later and I was right as rain. Dunno if the English doc was a fluke or indicative of most docs there, but I was sold.

    Anyhoo, no American is denied emergency medical care regardless to their ability to pay, but ER docs are *not* our country’s best. The best ones cost money and your wallet does matter.


  • MaryJanice
    January 30
    2:51 pm

    I worked for a hospital in Boston for four years (one in a series of SDJs, Stupid Day Jobs) and I can tell you for a fact, no one was ever refused care if they weren’t insured. I worked in the Gerontology department and we saw many, many patients who had no insurance or inadequate insurance, and we treated ’em all to the best of our ability.

    Although, yep, Katrina was (is) a disgrace. But I think the reason everybody points to Katrina as proof America is swirling down the spout is because it was a rare moment of ball-dropping.


  • Sharon
    January 30
    6:47 pm

    A lot of Americans bitch about the healthcare, but the fact is, it’s illegal for any healthcare facility to turn away someone because they don’t have insurance.

    If the condition is not deemed life threatening and the patient is in stable condition, they can transfer the patient to another facility, but they cannot refuse treatment. Period.

    Some states have a charity hospital system, and they don’t turn away anyone.

    No, our system isn’t perfect, but I wouldn’t trade it for socialized medicine ever.


  • Valeen
    March 16
    9:05 pm

    This seems to be a topic all over the place lately for some reason.

    We, in Canada, have a ‘free’ healthcare system as well. It’s reassuring to have something like this in place.

    As is the same in the UK the wait times are becoming quite long and we pay anywhere from 23% and up in income taxes depending on your bracket.

    The people who can afford to from Canada are travelling to the States only because of wait times – not because of the quality of care.


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