14 August 2012


While the debate about "Obamacare" rages, with the doomsayers claiming national fiscal ruin, and the proponents touting the GAO's projected savings, I will throw a couple of personal pennies into the fray.
Recently, in Germany, i had a small infection on my thumb, which i ignored till the pain prevented me from retrieving coins from the pocket. A friend made an appointment with a doctor she knew, elaborating that i was in a hurry, and could i run in the next day and be seen promptly. Contrary to my usual tiresome tardiness, i was more or less on time, and, with a minimum of paperwork, was shown in to a treatment room. Shortly thereafter, the doctor entered, listened to my explanation, prescribed treatment, and walked me out to the desk to sign out.

Time to pay at the doctor is always stressful. Must I give them my firstborn?
They inquired about my insurance, and i embarrassedly told them that I was an American artist, and we lived without those luxuries, praying for health, and dreading the fiscal consequence of illness. They expressed the usual disbelief of the civilized for the unwashed, and asked about the new health care law, to which I replied that the battle was still under way. I assured them I would pay, and, based on my experience with the US healthcare system, expected that I would have to cash in my plane ticket home to cover it. In the most apologetic way they handed me a bill for 38 euros, about $45. In the USA, this would have cost at least $200, and i would never have waltzed in the next day, be seen promptly, and on my way.

So when someone tells you that it doesn't work in countries with universal health care, look at this map of the countries that provide it and note that Amerika is the one "developed" nation that does not. And i can personally attest that Germans live as well or better than us, so don't start with the "it will bankrupt us" line.

Please. Healthcare. Now.