Regional Vice Chair & Communciations Director at Democrats Abroad

  • tagged Robert Kerr's Universal Health Care in UK #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-21 00:05:43 -0400

    Universal Health Care in UK #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I support universal health care. I and everyone I know in the UK have benefitted from it. I had one child in an NHS hospital and benefitted enormously from the in-home aftercare the NHS provided. I had a home birth with my second child and again, fantastic aftercare which I know my sister in the US with her two expensive caesareans did not have. I've had operations on the NHS, my children have their vaccines, etc etc. I've got friends who've had cancer and don't have to worry that if it comes back they won't be 'covered' for further treatment. How cruel and heartless would that be? In a civilised country, taxes should pay to take care of the population as a whole - access to health care should be a right, not a privilege. A society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. Jennifer Grigg


  • tagged Juliette Siegfried's Healthcare shouldn't be a worry for anyone #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-21 00:05:28 -0400

    Healthcare shouldn't be a worry for anyone #DAresists #Medicare4all

    It breaks my heart every time I see a health-related GoFundMe campaign, particularly for CHILDREN. Having lived 14 years in Europe, I finally get it. Little by little, the heavy burden of healthcare was lifted from my body and mind as I adjusted to the reality that healthcare would always be there for me, no matter what. My colonoscopy was 100% free. And also for my daughter: when she was in the hospital, I worried about her, not about her bills. We never got a bill. From a distance, I now see health care in the US as an albatross, along with credit card debt and school loans, dragging anyone not wealthy down and chaining them to the US and to jobs they may hate or situations they cannot escape. I know it's hard to believe, Americans, but it IS possible. The money IS there. They find trillions for defense, and they can find the funds for this. Don't believe the hype that it's "not possible here" or "too expensive" or "poor quality". Those are all lies. I wouldn't have believed it myself until I left the USA for long enough to really experience healthcare in two other developed countries. It can be done - but you have to believe it or it will never become a reality!


  • tagged Julia Bryan's Universal health care in the United Kingdom #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-21 00:05:10 -0400

    Universal health care in the United Kingdom #DAresists #Medicare4all

    My sick baby had an emergency medical team at my door at midnight on a Saturday within 15 minutes of calling them. There was no charge. When I broke my leg in a tube accident, entirely of my own making, I had an EMT crew collect me, take me to the hospital, surgery and a hospital stay all at no direct cost to me. I am delighted to pay my taxes to support that kind of access for all. Occasional waiting lists for certain non-urgent conditions and some restrictions on available drugs due to cost are a small price to pay. Healthcare to GDP in the UK is half of what it is in the US with lower infant mortality and higher average life expectancy. They must be doing something right. Keep up the good work! Barbara


  • tagged Robert Kerr's Health Care in New Zealand #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-21 00:04:52 -0400

    Health Care in New Zealand #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Last year I tore my ACL skiing in New Zealand while there on a working holiday visa. After a trip to the physio I learned about ACC; a program that provides healthcare coverage to everyone within the boundaries of New Zealand if they are injured in any type of accident. At the time I was 25 and had just lost my American health insurance the month prior when my dad lost his job. So my options were to stay in NZ and have knee surgery done without having to pay anything out of pocket, or return to America for surgery and be in debt thousands of dollars. As a recent graduate I was not too keen on adding medical debt on top of my student loans. I was due to leave New Zealand in 10 days and had no intentions of staying but obviously I had to for the surgery. It took me a while to get over how insane it was that I couldn't return to my OWN COUNTRY to have surgery where I'd have my family to take care of me. Lucky for me I had an incredibly generous group of Kiwis who got me through this difficult situation, both physically and emotionally. -Kaylyn Hobelman


  • Accessible, Virtually Free, (but still) High Quality #DAresists #Medicare4all

    French bureaucracy is infamous, and yet healthcare here is much more accessible and cheaper (duh) than it is in the States. My co-pays have always been a fraction of what they are in the States, even before I had a Carte Vitale or a French social security number. I'm sure this has been said, but women's healthcare in France makes American women's healthcare look dystopian. Birth control is available, cheap, and pharmacists are willing to help us out in moments of desperation, even if we don't have a perscription on hand (!!!). It's quite something to live in a country where the state doesn't perceive my body as its enemy.


  • tagged Neil Sorensen's Great and inexpensive healthcare in France! #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-21 00:04:24 -0400

    Great and inexpensive healthcare in France! #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I pay 42.50 (Euros) a month for excellent healthcare. My wife pays about the same. This insurance provides an amazing array of benefits that are common to all. I have easy access to specialists, urgent care, hospitals. There is little or no waiting. My wife and I are having a baby, and the pre-natal care must be about the best in the world. We have had 9 preparatory appointments with a midwife, 5 ultrasounds and several appointments at the hospital, including with a nutritionist. All of this care is completely covered by the basic coverage. For dental, high-priced medicine, glasses and to have all remaining aspects and possibilities completely covered, we have complementary mutual insurance that makes up for the difference not covered by the national health care. This costs an additional 25 Euros a month, which really isn't much. Practically everyone I know in the United States has a nightmare story about medical debt. My brother and sister in law have an autistic child, and a test their doctor recommended ended up costing thousands out of pocket, for example. This would never happen in France, no chance. It is such a relief not to have this unnecessary economic pressure that is totally avoidable by having a national healthcare system, like all advanced economies.


  • tagged Julia Bryan's Universal health care in France #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-21 00:04:05 -0400

    Universal health care in France #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Happily, we have not had to seek health care in France (except for routine blood tests that were easy, quick and inexpensive) but we do have a story. The young son of French friends in Avignon was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthrtis when he was five years old. Their national health insurance paid 100% of all the costs for his diagnosis and care over the course of 2 years by the best specialists in Montepellier and Paris, including travel and hotel expenses. Of modest means -- father an electrician and mother a secretary -- this young family would probably have been ruined had they been living in the US. Sincerely, Woody Halsey


  • tagged Julia Bryan's Universal health care in France #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-21 00:03:47 -0400

    Universal health care in France #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Hello, fellow Democrats Abroad! I have been under universal health care coverage for nearly all my professional career, first in Algeria, and now in France. I have had some harrowing experiences on the health scene, less by questions of policy coverage than by circumstances which necessitated health care. I was nearly always taken in and cared for without question, and indeed without personally incurring expenses. In Algeria public health policy had covered all my immunizations yithout my having to advance even the slightest payment. I once broke an ankle wnile playing basketball with fellow teachers, and although I had to drive to the nearest hospital thirty kilometers away I was properly examined and treated without having to pay. I did have to insist on being cared for, when the opening hours at the clinic expired, but I prevailed, and did not have to pay out of pocket. Near the end of my sojourn in Algeria, I was stabbed in the back in downtown Algiers, and I was taken into emergency care at first and then into intensive care with securitz guard, all without any outlay on my part. To the contrary my care was considered as a responsibilitz of the country because of the "indignity" of having been attacked on the street of the nation's capital. Laterm during my retirement in France, I was covered by the nation's public health care system, but did pay for enrolment in the health care system, a rather nominal sum, but less than the care yould have cost in the United States, although that cost was covered by employer's health care. I have been in relatively good health, but asthmatic and diabetic, for which I receive medication covered at 100%, and see the doctor as needed, usually without an appointment, without undue waits and no payment other than the nominal €23 for the visit, which is, incidentally repaid by my mutual health care policy! I am totally happy with this system, and would not willingly submit to the US health care system in its current disorderly state. Rev. Dr. Hugh G Johnson (BA, STB, MDIV, MA, PhD)


  • tagged Lee Lochbaum's I live in Germany. #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-21 00:03:30 -0400

    I live in Germany. #DAresists #Medicare4all

    As an EXPAT it was required to have a German healthcare insurance.While the insurance, plus other than health included, it seems to be reasonable in cost. Expats in Germany "do not cost Germany one cent. #DAresists #Medicare4all


  • tagged Robert Kerr's A story from Thailand #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-21 00:03:11 -0400

    A story from Thailand #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Re: Share your universal healthcare story Even Thailand has universal healthcare Thailand is an emerging economy that might actually emerge but for lurching from half-hearted democracy to totalitarianism and back every 10 years or so. Much of the country remains what used to be called third world. Nevertheless there is a public hospital in every county and clinic in every township with quality care, including medication virtually free for citizens and a small nominal fee for non-citizens. They don't even ask if you are legal! My son from the US spend seven days in the hospital a few years ago, with a private room. The entire cost, room, doctors, medicines etc. was about 200 US. Would have been much less on a ward. Sure, there's a shortage of physicians and long waits, but in the end everybody has access to good, quality very affordable care, no questions asked, no burdensome paperwork. There are also private hospitals--much less expensive than in the US. What's wrong with the US that it cannot provide what even a chaotic totalitarian dictatorship considers a human right?


  • tagged Julia Bryan's An Expat’s View of Heath Care Down Under #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-21 00:02:49 -0400

    An Expat’s View of Heath Care Down Under #DAresists #Medicare4all

    As an American expat living in Australia I feel blessed that I can go to sleep every night knowing that my wife and I will never have to worry about not having health insurance. That’s right, whether we lose our jobs, go bankrupt or have pre-existing medical conditions - WE NEVER WORRY ABOUT NOT HAVING HEALTH INSURANCE! The reason is that we live in a country that has a universal single payer health care system that automatically covers everyone from the time they are born to the time they die – a country where something as basic as medical care is viewed as a right and not a privilege for those who can afford it. Sadly, this is still not the case back home where the cost of health insurance is often ruinous. For those not covered by employers, some go without, some go bankrupt and millions more struggle on the margins with inadequate coverage. Astoundingly, the cost of health insurance for a family of four in 2016 was $25,826 while the median family income was $56,516! By contrast, we in Australia pay a health care levy of 2% although if your income falls below a certain level you don’t pay at all. In addition, my wife and I pay an addition $4,000 a year for private health coverage that gives us a choice of doctors in hospitals and extras like private dental and physio. All totalled, it’s considerably less than the cost of health insurance in the US, but regardless of your financial situation you will always be covered for life. So from my vantage point living down under, I view the US privatised health cares system as totally crazy and inhumane. In fact, if you set out to devise the world’s worst possible health care system, I think the US would be your model.


  • tagged Chia Liu's Life matters beyond conception #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-21 00:02:27 -0400

    Life matters beyond conception #DAresists #Medicare4all

    As an American woman who went through pregnancy and gave birth in Spain, I was impressed by the comprehensive, professional, and free healthcare that I was given every step along the way. The Spanish healthcare systems covers the following for all pregnant women: prenatal check-ups, sonograms, prenatal classes, birth, breastfeeding consultancy, and postnatal check-ups. In my second trimester, an ultrasound revealed that my daughter has renal pelvis dilation, a relatively common condition which usually resolves itself in time but requires periodic check-ups. All pediatric care, including her ultrasounds are covered through the Spanish healthcare system. During one of her recent ultrasounds, the technician discovered a cyst on her intestines which requires removal. We are sad that our small baby will need surgery when she turns one, but if it weren't for universal healthcare which would deem the surgery cost-free, our troubles would be further exacerbated by the stress of financial burden, not to mention that if it weren't for such thorough pediatric care, we wouldn't even have had found that cyst to begin with until it becomes a bigger problem. All children deserve the best possible care their society can provide, regardless of their parents' socioeconomic status. I cannot think of any reason that anyone who is pro-family or believes in traditional values would disagree with that.


  • tagged James Griffin's #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 23:58:54 -0400

    #DAresists #Medicare4all

    A comment I posted on the internet two years ago: "Insurance companies do not provide health care. They act as intermediaries between you and doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, etc. taking a part of the transaction cost. An insurance company’s objective is to make money. Often they say that they have profits only in the order of single digits, but it is their far greater organizational cost that accounts for the difference between income and outgo. They want to maximize the amount of premiums they take in and minimize the amount of their payouts. They employ oodles of people to check the validity of claims made for payments, others to sell their products and highly paid bosses to oversee these activities. From an individual’s point of view insurance companies are thus the antithesis of obtaining health care. Most health care in Europe is managed by its governments. Money to pay for it is obtained in the form of taxes. This income and the payments for health care are in the general budgets of the countries or adjuncts to it, similar to expenditures for education, infrastructure, armies, police, etc. Doctors participating in public health care systems are public employees and are paid salaries. They don’t have to carry expensive malpractice insurance; the government would sustain any successful claims for malpractice. Doctors do not have hundreds of thousands of dollars to repay for their educations because their education costs are significantly less than in the U.S. Most doctors have gone to state schools. Some medicines are free, some must be paid for by the patient, and some have a “co-pay” of a couple of Euros. One need not go to a doctor or hospital that is publicly funded; there are also private ones. Waits for non-critical specialists’ visits can be long and you can get quicker service going private, but when there is a critical need care is immediately available with the public system. Average life expectancies are longer. Thus health care costs less but is better in Europe than in the U.S. "


  • tagged Mitchell Bilderbeck's Talk radio strikes again! #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 23:58:20 -0400

    Talk radio strikes again! #DAresists #Medicare4all

    It's frustrating when my friends living in the US - who have never lived outside the US - tell me about how poor healthcare is in the UK. In reality, the UK system beats the US hands-down. One weekend I experienced problems with vision in one eye. I called my local GP who said the problem could be serious (a detached retina) and get to the practice immediately. He had a look and referred me to the world-class London Eye Hospital. They saw me on Monday, diagnosed non sight-threatening vitreous detachment, and sent me home relieved. There was no bill. Think about how this would have been dealt with in the US, and what it would have cost.


  • tagged Davida Chazan's Israel's Universal Healthcare - Efficient and Affordable #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 23:57:57 -0400

    Israel's Universal Healthcare - Efficient and Affordable #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Several years ago, my daughter was diagnosed with Lymphoma. That's the kind of news that can be devastating. But thankfully, because we live in Israel, our only worry was how to get this 21 year-old girl healthy. If I had still been in the US, I would be bankrupt by now. When your child gets sick, all you want to do is help them get better and your biggest worry should be taking care of them, not money. Today, with this illness in her past, she gets free dental check ups (which isn't covered by our system), pays a tiny sum every year for her PET-CT, and as a cancer survivor, she's now on the most comprehensive plan available at no extra cost to her. If you ask me, anyone who would deny another person access to healthcare is a murderer, and should be jailed for life.


  • tagged Charley Hobbs' German health care - AOK #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 23:57:44 -0400

    German health care - AOK #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I live in Germany, where I worked for 25 years. I am now retired and have full health care coverage for me and my family. Last week my wife woke up in the middle of the night with severe chest pains. I drove her to the emergency room in the local hospital. (only because it was quicker than waiting for an ambulance.) She was admitted immediately and began numerous tests, blood pressure, EKG, blood makeup, Xrays, Ultra sound and more. She stayed for three days, two nights, for observation. She was given various medications during her stay. Luckily it was determined to be a sever asthma attack with shortness of breath and a panic reaction. Today I received the Hospital invoice. 10€ a day for a total of 30€. When we were raising our kids, the Kinderartz (pediatrician) came to our home, and within minutes of a call, when we thought it was am emergency. Ambulance rides, free; Doctor visits, free and never any wait, other than the usual Doctor office wait. A few months ago I had a Hiatal Hernia. Diagnoses, MRI for confirmation, prep, surgery, recovery with 3 days in the hospital, again total cost was 30€. I can't afford to retire in the USA. I'm stuck here in Bavaria. Prost!


  • tagged Adele Eisenstein's Universal coverage saved my life in Hungary #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 23:57:34 -0400

    Universal coverage saved my life in Hungary #DAresists #Medicare4all

    It's not perfect in Hungary, and the quality of the healthcare you receive varies wildly from venue to venue - but my life was literally saved by my healthcare in Hungary. When I suddenly didn't know what was wrong with me, felt a strange pressure in my leg, and was dragging it, feeling like gravity was pulling it into the sidewalk, I was able to go see a doctor, who immediately sent me to emergency at the best hospital in Budapest. I was immediately put on a stretcher and was not allowed to stand up for the next five days - as it was found that my leg was riddled with DVT. I am eternally grateful to my doctor there and all the wonderful nurses, and even my ward-mates in a very comfortable, clean spacious room. I was 48 when this happened - and I might not be here today without that healthcare, as DVT can end up causing a pulmonary embolism, heart attack or even stroke when it moves through the blood stream. After being released from the hospital, my prescription for the newest model of blood thinners was covered 90% by my insurance. And I had regular follow-ups with my local doctor, as well as the doctor who treated me in the hospital.


  • tagged Skippy Mardon's A TALE of TWO SISTERS #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 23:56:18 -0400

    A TALE of TWO SISTERS #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I live in Canada and my sister lives in the USA. I moved to Canada in 1974 and whenever I go to the doctor or hospital all I do is show my "Health Card". In 43 years, I have had two surgeries, including removal of a benign lump and all costs were covered, including medical tests. Contrast this with my sister in the States. Her husband passed away at age 60 leaving her with a bill of $7 MILLION. She had to sell her good car and her home of 40 years (5 bedrooms, 3 bath) and moved into a one-bedroom at the end of a dirt road. Can you believe that 60% of bankruptcies in the US are from medical bills?? My ancestors came over on the Mayflower in 1620 and my family has lived in New England for FOUR HUNDRED years and I can't even afford to move back home to the US! It's crazy, isn't it??


  • tagged Lisa Doerksen's Cancer Did Not Rob My Bank Account #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 23:55:53 -0400

    Cancer Did Not Rob My Bank Account #DAresists #Medicare4all

    About 10 years ago, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was suggest that I go to Princess Margret Hospital because they have the best cancer treatment in the world. I asked how much would that cost. I was told, "Nothing." It took less than six months to go from diagnoses to treatment - that was because I insisted on finishing up the school year before I went into the hospital. The doctors were great! The nurses were even better. I was treated with dignity and respect throughout my entire treatment. I was amazed by the care and treatment I was given without having to dip into our savings or refinance our home.


  • tagged Anthony Manning's No hidden surprises - a more civil approach to healthcare #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 23:55:40 -0400

    No hidden surprises - a more civil approach to healthcare #DAresists #Medicare4all

    A few years after moving to Canada, I was diagnosed with a deviated septum and required a septoplasty. Only two months elapsed between diagnosis and surgery, a reasonable amount of time for a non-urgent procedure that wasn't causing me any physical distress. On the day of my operation, it only took a few minutes to register; reviewing and signing the consent form is all that was required. No verification of insurance coverage necessary. I remained overnight for observation, during which time I initially hesitated to ask for things like tissues, juice or a bedpan - fearing that each of these items came with a hefty price tag, as they would in the US. It was all free. And the following morning, when I was discharged there was no second battery of paperwork to complete - just a smile and "good luck" from the head nurse. Best of all, in the weeks that followed there were no itemized statements from the hospital or doctors involved. Removing financial worries from an already stressful situation is a far more civil approach to patient care. It's a key reason why I choose to continue living on the Canadian side of the border.


Regional Vice Chair & Communciations Director at Democrats Abroad