Monday, July 21, 2008

Nationalized Healthcare in Japan

Karen and I just watched Michael Moore's SicKO last night and I feel compelled to share a little something.

We live in a country that has universal healthcare and we've used the healthcare several times already.

When I lived in the U.S. I was working as a waiter and going to school and I broke my elbow while riding my bicycle. I did not have health insurance and so filed for indigency (like a homeless person) and got half the costs removed. The other several thousands of dollars I simply told them I would not be able to pay, which is still true.

I had maybe three hundred dollars saved. I spent half on my first visit with the orthopaedist. I spent the rest buying my prescribed medicine. But I ended up selling my prescribed pain killers to my boss at the restaurant so that I could buy groceries that month.

I'll grant you that dental care here is nothing like what is available in the U.S. but that really doesn't matter since I haven't been able to afford to see a dentist in the U.S. my entire adult life. Here it's a negligible cost.

I work with folks from Europe and I get really pissed off at them because they talk about how absurd it is to work when you're ill... I get pissed because I feel so used and I feel like it's wrong, WRONG, that they can go to a doctor whenever they feel like it and I've spent my entire adult life afraid of getting sick.

I have a sense of perspective: the number one killer in the world is lack of drinking water and American toilets are full of teh cleanest water in the world.

But still, it's just wrong the way healthcare is set up in the U.S. and it's the reason why immigration is even an issue in the U.S. Immigration is used as a mask for our lack of universal healthcare. The whole "I'm a Libertarian Patriot, Don't Tax Me" b.s. is also a direct response to this lack of healthcare for all: the number one reason for people over the age of forty filing bankruptcy is for overwhelming healthcare costs. So sure, you look outside your mcmansion and you realize that you can't afford to pay for the surgery or treatment that would keep your wife or child or yourself alive and you might be inclined to start listening to Neal Boortz like he knows something - any fairy tale that will allow you to feel like someone, anyone agrees with you that this is a sin, this lack of healthcare.