Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Obligatory Healthcare Commentary

I can't remember the last time something has afforded me as much amusement as the hysteria that surrounds Obama's proposed Healthcare bill.

As one outside the fracas I have been able to enjoy the whole wild ride from Death Panels and the Leaving Grandma To Die, to say nothing of the NHS as breeding ground for terrorism, without actual emotional involvement. I can't remember the last time I was that riveted by anything, since that 'news' show in Chicago that linked headlines from the paper with verses from the Bible. Although I am frankly dissapointed that no one has yet sought to link the whole Harold Shipman thing with some imaginative headline. I suggest: Due to insufficient pay British doctors forced to resort to MURDER. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Don't make me question your commitment to journalism, Fox News!

As regards the subject of nationalised healthcare, I can only say the following:

1) I have lived in an actual Socialist country during actual Socialist times, and really, it wasn't that bad. No one was dying in the streets, and the healthcare provided had saved my life and my family's life multiple times.

There are good and bad doctors in every system and the healthcare that we had was not perfect, especially when it was provided during times of war or by institutions that were so strapped for resources that when my mother had emergency back surgery in 2003 she was kindly asked by ward stuff upon waking up from anesthesia to be careful not to break the IV needle since it's the last one they had. On the other hand my mother had been operated on New Year's Eve by people who were so committed to providing excellence of care that I wanted to compose odes to them all.

People don't have a lot, but 80% of them try so hard that they go above and beyond the call of duty to help you. And that's just the state provided system, on top of which you have private healthcare that you're welcome to pay for if you can afford it.

2) The NHS has many flaws (most glaringly for me the mental health system) but it's far from the nightmare that it's being portrayed as. Yes the care you receive is luck of the draw - depending where you live and what kind of GP you chance upon, particularly if it's about routine or chronic but not-life threatening illnesses - but the emergency care and care afforded to small children has always been exceptional. (I have nothing but praise for all the people who looked after me when I had a haemorrhage after Matei's birth, and nothing but praise for people who looked after my grandmother when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.)

While I definately think the system has much room for improvement, and there have been times when I've chosen to go outside the NHS (I hired an independent midwife to look after me during labour and beyond), I've always been glad to know that I have the NHS as a safety net.

I am an anxious person and prone to having my sleep disrupted by various disastrous scenarios, but I'm happy that one of them is not: "OMG what if one of us gets sick and we are driven into financial ruin while paying for their care".

However, since reading the Little House On the Prarie books while on the road trip, I've been thinking that:

1) Fever 'n ague is one of my favourite disease titles, ever. I wish it was in existence and use today.

2) I think I understand a little more about where the whole optimism and independence and self-sufficiency part of American culture stems from.

Finally, all this not-worrying I am doing about my healthcare outcomes is freeing up an enormous amount of emotional energy that I have invested into pleasant meditations on cake.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
Aug. 14th, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
Aug. 14th, 2009 05:05 pm (UTC)
Who the hell is that anonymous Asian commenting in your journal?
Aug. 14th, 2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
No idea. Possibly a spam bot. But otherwise a person with a much greater commitment to the internet than me. :)

Aug. 14th, 2009 05:38 pm (UTC)
Oh, it's the anonymous person again!

Hey, anonymous, here's my "impudent kitty" in my icon! I think last time you saw her, she was sporting an Aretha hat, but now she's upgraded somewhat. She still loves you!
Aug. 14th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC)
Impudent kitty, you tickle my mind with your delicious eartips.
Aug. 14th, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
I'm really interested to know if drug companies can advertise on TV and in magazines over there, or if even prescriptions are under the NHS. That's where the huge money is, and the big companies don't want anything coming along to stop that.

I suspect a lot of the hysteria is from people who believe Obama was born in Kenya (which wasn't Kenya until he was three years old) and that he is a Muslim.
Aug. 14th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
There's a little bit of advertising, but nothing like in America. Not to the average public anyway, although there is a lot of advertising aimed at GPs and so on (which makes sense, since the GPs decide what to prescribe). On the other hand, the cost of prescriptions is at a flat rate so even if a drug costs £30, you'd still get it for £7 if a GP prescribed it. Therefore, the only things that are really advertised are the things available over the counter and the biggest advertising campaign is for weight-loss helping drugs like Alli.
Aug. 14th, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
I tried to join your site but I computer stupid. I've seen that icon on other sites so there must be a way to do it. I have a little geek buddy, I'll get him to tell be a step by step...as soon as he gets back to the web from his current excursion to blow things up and put rockets into space...and finding errors in his new Calculus Book.

A great set of books,,,I still dream of the kitchen that Alonzo built for Laura..and then she burns it down!
Aug. 14th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)
Re: @eloh
It was the first time I came across the books and they blew me away. I was amazed by the fact that someone had lived that (and constantly hungry by all the food Ma was preparing).

Unfortunately I only got to Silver Lake before our American vacation ran out.

An arson and fireworks holiday? That sounds great. I hope they do tours.
Aug. 18th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
Kelly from OrdinaryArt
It's nice to hear your voice in this matter. America is locking their doors and storing supplies for the disaster they believe universal health care will be. It is crazy. I can't even walk down the streets without wanting to slap someone for their hysteria.
Oct. 20th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
Oct. 20th, 2009 03:10 pm (UTC)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


deep sky, firefly

Latest Month

December 2013


Page Summary

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow