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Dear GOP - the collective you are an idiot. - Tactical Ninja

Feb. 7th, 2011

09:56 am - Dear GOP - the collective you are an idiot.

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A quote: There is a move afoot in the nation - driven by the GOP - to repeal the new health care laws, to protect corporate interests, to defend against fear-mongering (and stupid) cries of "socialism!", and to ensure that people are forced to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or getting necessary health care."

Any guesses which nation this is about? Yep. Read the rest here. Now, as a citizen of one of the nations that's falling victim to the US's oppressive trade action, and who is used to almost all international interactions being dominated by the US, I have no love for it as a nation. However, I do have love for its people and having watched things get harder and harder for those people over the last 10 years, I feel the need to tell my own story. It's a contrast to what you'll read up there.


Here in lil ol' semi-invisible New Zealand, we have socialised health care. We pay scaled tax from 10-33% depending on income. Most folks pay 20-30%. We have 15% goods and services tax on purchases.

As most of you know, last year my mother died. She had been ill for three years with pancreatic cancer. In that time she had medical and palliative treatment as follows:

2 x major operations involving general anaesthetic and over a week in hospital.
3 x less major operations involving local anaesthetic and outpatient care.
2 years of CAT scans every 6 to 8 weeks.
1 x 6-week bout of radiotherapy.
12 x emergency visits to the hospital with nausea, associated meds, average stay, 2-4 days.
Doctor visits every 6 to 8 weeks.
Anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, pain-killing and anxiety medication for three years.
Home help with cleaning, lawnmowing and gardening weekly for 6 months.
A nurse to help with self care 3 times a week for 3 months.
Ambulance transport between her home and hospital when she started to get really sick.
Approximately 6 weeks altogether in hospice, both for relief care and palliative care.
6 weeks in a rest home hospital bed.
After-death support for her family.
Counselling for her and for us.

I have no idea how much this amount of care costs - and that says something in itself. I am guessing it would run to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Know what it cost us?

Nothing.

Mum died with $20,000 in savings. If we'd been in the US she might have had slightly flasher meds and slightly whizzier tests and beds, but we would have all been bankrupt. And honestly? She never had to wait for emergency care, she didn't have to worry about support, and we have absolutely no complaints about the standard of care she received. There are no death panels. People who need care get it, in spades, including 'soft' care.


I don't know what a co-pay is, I have no knowledge of deductibles. I pay ~$50 to visit the doctor (actually right now it's free because I'm a student but that's what it'd cost if I were just paying). If I break my leg it'll be fixed for free, well and quickly. And I see my friends in the US freaking out that they might have to go to the doctor because of the cost, or fighting with insurance companies, or struggling to pay premiums, and my heart goes *gnng*

So maybe now you'd like to go and read that think I linked to up there, even if you didn't before. Spread it around.

Meanwhile, yet another essay bites the dust. I am looking forward to not writing any essays for a few weeks, so I can focus on this, which is making me go *meep* a little.

Also, my pomphoyx is back. It stayed away the whole time I was in Hong Kong. WTF?

Comments:

From:caycos
Date:February 6th, 2011 09:18 pm (UTC)
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Random - I found that my skin cleared up a *lot* during the humid months when I lived in Korea. Something to do with the sweating maybe?

Also, when Paul broke his ankle, and spent 2 weeks in hospital, with 2 operations, ongoing physio treatment, 80% subsidy of his wages and crutches and other aids to get around - cost? 0. SUCH a relief to turn up the hospital a bit of a wreck because he was hurt, without having to worry about how we would pay for his treatment.
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From:rivet
Date:February 6th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
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Why Jodi lives in NZ, exhibit A
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From:tyellas
Date:February 6th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
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Yes, we're health care refugees!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 6th, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC)
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And here is tyellas' healthcare experience as a Kiwi.
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From:rivet
Date:February 6th, 2011 09:37 pm (UTC)
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I didn't quite realise it at the time (since I'd lived a lot of my life with minimal health care BECAUSE of lack of insurance), but it's quite true!
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From:tatjna
Date:February 6th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
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I support this hypothesis and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 6th, 2011 11:51 pm (UTC)
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Dr Wheel is both potent and non-emetic, so both is fine.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:February 7th, 2011 01:30 am (UTC)
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ferrouswheel can also be taken as a cyclical iron supplement.
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From:tatjna
Date:February 6th, 2011 11:52 pm (UTC)
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What offends me is that it doesn't seem to matter who's in charge in the US, things just keep getting worse for everyday people.
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From:optigon
Date:February 7th, 2011 06:52 am (UTC)
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I really think our unwillingness to adopt "socialized healthcare" is a signifier of a larger issue of a good portion of US society caring little for the welfare of others. When people in a society stop caring about one another's welfare, the society is in dire straits.

The counterargument to this is "Americans always donate money when disaster hits!" But caring isn't only caring when things go seriously wrong, it's about caring about people when things are going well as well. At least then provisions can be made to avoid disasters, whether it's "preventative medicine" in the case of healthcare or poverty relief in the case of New Orleans' Ninth Ward. (I specify that one because a lot of rich people lost their stuff as well when they owned oceanfront property.)
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From:lifeofreilly
Date:February 8th, 2011 01:51 am (UTC)

Clearly

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Clearly the GOP collective body has never read The Jungle.

I am sad. I wish I could make it better. I am lucky that I work somewhere that gives me stellar health insurance.

And- just to let you know- one night / day (24 hours) in the hospital with a series of cardiac tests and monitoring was billed out at 18K to my insurance company.
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