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?
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?