Slice of Life Story -Here's To Your Health

I hope I am not being presumptuous by delving into the someone elses domestic issues, but I do have some experience, be it limited, with the US health system...

I recall watching a documentary in the eighties titled ‘Don’t Get Sick in America’ The film outlined the problems associated with the delivery of health services in America at that time. Its message has remained with me through the years. My six years living in the US as a legal alien taught me a few extra things about the prevailing health system. At one point I experienced its obvious limitations. I paid $1500.00 for a few rudimentary blood tests. -Tests that would have been covered by the health system had I been home in Australia. I eventually recouped my costs because I could afford additional health insurance. I was stunned when a rudimentary consultation at a cost of $200  had to be paid up front, before the doctor would agree to see me. These events reinforced my concerns about the health system of America. It presented as a system that is not inclusive of the old, the frail, the vulnerable or the poor. I have found myself following with much interest, the long and painful journey that the US Health legislation has taken through the corridors of Washington.
Living as I do in a country that has enjoyed the benefits of a universal health program since the 1970’s, I have found the debate somewhat disappointing and ill informed. The campaign waged by interest groups such as Fox News in opposition to the proposed changes, strike me, an outsider looking in as inflammatory and squarely aimed at fanning the flames of fear. Rhetoric designed to merely scare people treats them with contempt. Informed and measured debate has been conspicuous by it absence. Words such as socialist, Marxist, communist and the totally over the top 'Armageddon' have been bandied about without a proper examination of the facts.
The implementation of the Medicare system in Australia did not condemn our country into becoming a socialist basket case, let alone a Marxist totalitarian regime where the government controlled our thoughts. Pundits making such alarmists  statements clearly need to take a chill pill!
Universal health coverage has managed to work in Australia. It operates in Canada and most of Europe, but the vocal critics of health coverage in America say it can’t possibly work in America. Not too sure why this is so. I suspect it doesn’t suit the all powerful HMO lobby and the pharmaceutical companies. They would appear to have the ear of certain politicians. Lobbying and its associated money trail remains a cancer in US politics. It’s sad when elected officials use this most serious domestic issue to settle ideological grudges This sad divide is taking place at a time when premiums and other uncovered expenses are so high that the insurance many workers obtain through their employers, does not save them from financial bankruptcy in old age.
Australia’s health system is not perfect, it does however, provide a safety net for all our citizens, irrespective of their financial circumstance. Currently debate is under way to further improve the delivery of health services across the nation. It remains a work in progress.
A caring and compassionate society must work to ensure a heatlh system is in place  and that system is inclusive, not just for the well off. I applaud the efforts of those in America who have shown the courage to persist with this course of action. I wish all my American friends Good Health!


  1. Hear, hear! I am proud that our President stood up to the right-wing crazies and took the first step.

  2. I am very happy we have taken a first step. As teachers, I am not sure we are doing a very good job teaching children to become discerning adults. All to many people believe anything they hear.

  3. "Informed and measured debate has been conspicuous by it absence."

    This is what has bothered me the most throughout the entire health care process... I'd have loved to hear what both Dems and Reps had to say about the actual merits (or downsides) of the legislation. It would have made me a more informed citizen. However, the partisan politics in America right now are insane and our elected representatives are too worried about losing their jobs.

    It's refreshing to hear your perspective on this topic!

  4. Alan you give an insightful look into this issue. Personally(you know that conservative thing I've got going on), I'm not sure. However, I've seen my stepmom struggle to pay for her cancer treatments. Since her cancer is only treatable with an experimental drug, insurance refused to pay. She had to come up with $1,500 per shot!


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