Vice Chair Denmark

I support Democrats Abroad because I believe the Democratic Party is the party in the United States that best represents my values and commitment to social justice and equal rights and respect for all.


  • A helpful roundup from Costa Rica #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Regarding Costa Rica's public health care system, I have belonged to the CAJA for 19 years. The cost based on income is affordable. I pay on a voluntary basis. I pay per month. I receive all medical treatment and prescriptions without additional cost. However I supplement CAJA care with private specialists such as my dentist and ophthalmologist. I pay for eyeglasses myself. These services are available through the CAJA but I prefer having my choice of providers in these cases. Lynda Page


  • Simply happy to have coverage in Canada! #DAresists #Medicare4all

    When I got my residency in Canada I was told I was covered by their healthcare system which is single payer, universal care. To my surprise I felt liberated and safe in a way I never felt in the US. I was no longer chained to an expensive, unforgiving insurance company whose primary purpose was not the health of Americans but their own profit margin. I remain a happy resident and citizen of Canada, and receive excellent if not perfect healthcare. Rachel Ps: no copay


  • Cancer coverage in Switzerland #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Cancer sucks, but cancer in Switzerland does not bankrupt you and does not require a masters degree in Bureaucracy and Insurance Codes to get BETTER treatment than in the US. As a 2nd generation cancer person (mom had breast cancer in the US, I got it while living here) I can compare the level of care, the medicines used, and the paperwork burden (almost nonexistent here) and am planning to never return to the US system unless forced. Kay


  • A lifetime of perspective from Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I have lived in Canada virtually my whole life. I have been privileged to have had access to the Canadian universal health system. It is true for elective assistance, one is in a queue , but for emergencies, the system can't be beat . Widely known that the Canadian per capita expenditure on health care is approximately 50% of the US expenditure and that includes the whole population. My doctor friends are supportive because when a patient appears at their door, they are all treated the same without regard to ability to pay. Hard to believe, as was pointed out in the most recent presidential campaign,the US is the only country in the developed world that does not have universal health care for its citizens. There does not seem to be the same hang-up about government assistance to the victims of hurricanes! Stephen Freedhoff


  • $7.00 for tonsillectomy in Canada (mid 70s!) #DAresists #Medicare4all

    To Whom It May Concern in the USA— From my youngest daughter’s $7.00 tonsillectomy in the mid-70s to my recent hospital overnight sleep apnea test (“free”—covered by my taxes and an annual family insurance cost of just over $1,000 per year with no direct out of pocket expenses for the hospital stay or sophisticated testing), as a USAmerican citizen living in CANADA (and voting regularly in CO) it escapes me the resistance to universal, single payer health care coverage in the USA! R. G. Doll, BC


  • Singing 30 years of praises from Canada! #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I can't sing the praises of universal health care enough. When I immigrated to Canada I was pregnant. I went from paying for each prenatal visit and not knowing how I'd pay for the delivery to free prenatal care both from my family doctor and the local health nurse. Free hospitalization during even during a nursing strike and free post natal care. I had complications requiring a week stay in hospital. I paid nothing. Now, over 30 years later my family and I never worry about how we are going to afford health care nor health care premiums. In my province the poor pay no premiums. And we choose a doctor of our choice (not limited to any one HMO plan). My son requires ongoing specialist care - completely free. No problem with a sub-class of service due to his lack of income (disability pension only). He sees the same specialists as everyone else. I hear from my family in the US about their worries about health care both quality and cost. I have a sister who had to refinance her home just to afford the deductible for a surgery. I have never had to worry about obtaining or affording quality health care since residing in Canada. It's a blessing beyond measure.


  • A 35 year perspective from Canada! #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I am a US citizen living in Canada for about 35 years. For the most part, the health care system here works well. We receive universal health care and can use our own family doctor or go to community clinic as the need arises to receive free health care. I have not found it difficult to get my own family doctor. But some individuals need to spend more time. Emergency care is always available. I personally had surgery done here successfully. My wife had a series of tests that needed to be done as ordered from her doctor and were done on time, We pay higher taxes here in Canada but that is really the price paid for universal health care - it It is also a more humane and evolved way of living! Many other countries are able to accomplish this - I hope a more united congress with participation from democrats can accomplish this. Regards, James Sofia


  • Overarching experience in Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I am a US citizen living in Canada. Here in Canada, everyone has excellent universal health care. Taxes here are no higher than in the US. When you need to go to the doctor or the hospital you simply go. There are no limits, copays, no concerns about particular conditions or whether you are covered. It's just like the education system, another government service paid for by your taxes. But our taxes are no worse than yours. It's just that we get something provided in exchange for paying taxes. That's what governments are for. To provide things as a group which would have been difficult to arrange as individuals. Here in Canada, we find it hard to understand why this simple obvious and important program is such an endless debate. What possible reason could there be to do anything else? Someone must have a less than honest agenda if they try to convince you otherwise. Our system is a single payer, non-profit government program, not another way for insurance companies to get rich. Thank You, Paul Peele


  • Great ongoing treatment for chronic condition in Germany! #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I have ulcerative colitis, a chronic autoimmune disease that affects my colon. Since moving to Germany, I have had several flare-ups, including a few that have landed me in the hospital. The worst though was when I got so sick my colon was actually bleeding. I ended up in the hospital for 15 days and needed 3 blood transfusions. Because my German public health insurance is so wonderful, the entire hospital stay - blood transfusions, various medications and IV drips, food, and everything else - cost me only 150 euros. That's 10 euros a day. (At today's exchange rate, that's just under $180 for the full 15 days.) Even with insurance, lengthy hospital stays in the US cost exponentially more and can bankrupt a person. I can't imagine what this would've cost me in the US, but I'm so happy to have this kind of health insurance and that getting the treatment I needed was so affordable. It's also worth noting, I don't pay a penny for doctor appointments - it's all covered by my health insurance. If I feel myself getting sick, my doctor is happy to squeeze me in for an appointment that day or the next day, which I was never able to do in the US. I also have to take daily medication for my disease. In the US, I had to pay for those pills up front until I hit my deductible. A 3 month supply cost about $1,500 in 2011. The full price of the same medication (under a different brand) here is around $200, and because of my insurance, I only pay 10 euros for a 2 month supply. This is because Germany, like many other countries, regulates what the pharmaceutical companies can charge for drugs. They aren't allowed to jack up the price to a point where people can't afford the medicine that keeps them alive. No one should have to sacrifice their health or die because they can't afford healthcare services. Ali Garland


  • Things work GREAT in the UK #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Less stress on Health, big benefits for society #DAresists #Medicare4all I moved to the UK over a decade ago to study music and stayed on, eventually marrying a Brit. Working in the arts comes with periods of financial uncertainty and not having to have the added worry of what would happen if I injured myself or got ill has always been a comfort. I have not had to pay for expensive private health insurance or premiums for the health concerns I've had and such savings allows me to direct my energy and income towards artistic/career decisions and continue to do good work in the arts. I think healthcare is a right and the basis of a well-functioning society. It allows space for people to fulfill their potential and contribute fully to their communities and society overall.


  • Great eye care support in Canada! #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I support universal healthcare because I would be blind without my retinal detachment surgery or beyond broke paying for the surgery and follow up visits for my eye. In Canada, I have experienced the best my province has to offer in terms of emergency eye surgery and all I paid for was prescriptions and hospital parking. I didn't end up in debt to the hospital and doctor as surely would have been the case had I still been in Ohio when the detachment occurred. The United States needs universal healthcare for all across all States. Emergencies happen. They shouldn't ruin lives getting treated.


  • Great maternity support in the UK #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I have had great care on the NHS during two complicated pregnancies. I would also have had great care in America -- if I could afford it. My treatment would have cost tens of thousands of dollars; in the UK, it cost nothing out of pocket -- as it should be. Healthcare is not a job perk. It is essential, and it should be available to all citizens at the point of need, fully funded through taxes.


  • Mother of 2 speaks out from Ireland #DAresists #Medicare4all

    When I was in my 20’s I almost died because we didn’t have health insurance and left going to the doctor to long. I ended up in the emergency room at a county hospital. I was quickly seen and released because of the amount of people waiting to be seen. An exam by the emergency room doctor showed I had a kidney infection. I was put on antibiotics and told to rest. What the exam didn’t show was that I also had a blockage in one of my fallopian tubes. The combination of antibiotics and pain meds made me very sick, causing dehydration and a hernia from throwing up. Another trip to an emergency clinic the following morning for dehydration lasted 6 hours, because we couldn’t afford to go back to the hospital. I was fortunate that my husband was from Ireland and we went across when I was well enough to have surgery. After, we returned my in-laws paid for our health insurance for a year; my Irish in-laws paid for US health insurance, ironic to say the least. As a mother of two daughters under the age of 25, I am so grateful that they can stay on my husbands health insurance until they start their careers and get insurance of their own. No, American citizen should have to sacrifice their health, or the health of their loved ones for lack of ability to pay. Our hospital emergency rooms, should be for the use of TRUE emergencies, not doctor visits for the poor and uninsured.


  • published #DAresists #Medicare4all in Healthcare Stories 2017-09-22 03:35:31 -0400

    #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I married my Danish partner in 2012 and she gave birth to our beautiful twin daughters in 2013. Because it was her first delivery, and she was older and had to undergo hormonal treatments, she experienced hormonal imbalances. No problem, she was given two weeks of inpatient care at the country's premier hospital in Copenhagen. Later, one night she awoke at 3 a.m. with severe back pains. No problem, an on call physician arrived at our doorstep within 30 minutes! Recently, one of the now four year old twins fell and damaged her teeth, of course in the evening! My wife called the emergency medical number, was given an appointment at the emergency dental clinic, and within 30 minutes had gone with my daughter, received treatment and returned home, which in this case was the removal of her two top front teeth. In Denmark, all you have to do is show your national health card upon entry to any medical facility. Your record pulls up, you are told exactly where to go relative to your appointment, and off you go! That entire process takes less than one minute. And because she was a child with an obvious immediate dental need, she went right to the front of cue, no questions asked! On my side, I just recently received my national ID number and thus access to the local health care system. Previously I would have needed to use my US insurance for routine care. However, I had a bike accident resulting in a concussion and needed emergency medical attention. I was fully covered, including many nights in the hospital, several MRIs, and two months of outpatient treatment. No bureaucratic lines, no hassles of any sort, 100% first care, easy treatment. During last year's presidential election season, Denmark was referenced often as a place where according to Bernie Sanders health care works and according to Republicans: "we don't want socialized medicine like in Denmark." Well ... Bernie is right. It works great here. It is hassle free. And the total costs are LESS than in the States. Sounds like something that our leaders should more seriously look into!


  • Great coverage stories from Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I am grateful for Canada's health care system One reader's comment to the New York Times this week captured my feelings exactly: however imperfect our Canadian health system might be (it still needs to bring pharmaceuticals under its umbrella, for example), how reassuring it is to me, to know that my health care will be taken care of, always, even if I have a pre-existing condition, even when I am old, whatever my degree of wealth or destitution. Examples: we are not billed for having babies in hospital - and the birth of my daughter turned into an emergency, with a lengthy hospital stay for baby; my husband's kidney stone was removed - no bill. We pay higher taxes, but in return there are such high dividends in peace of mind - and excellent care. I am deeply grateful for all of this -- it is the polar opposite of what my siblings, still living in the U.S., go through, what with drug prices, insurance and administrative complications. The ones that now qualify for Medicare


  • A great experience from Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all

    My wife & I were both unemployed when a checkup found out she had life threatening anemia. She was admitted to hospital immediately, given multiple transfusions, and a barrage of tests including cardiac stress test, ultrasound, MRI, and colonoscopy. It was a horrible week; I was terrified there was something serious and she was too weak to care. We were lucky - we didn't have to worry about the cost wiping out all our savings. The medical team was terrific, and because she shared a room and didn't rent a TV, and we left the hospital with a bill for zero dollars. Every time I think about that summer I am profoundly grateful for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, and I shudder to think where we'd be had that happened while we were in the US. Yes, it took me longer than I would have liked to get an MRI for a minor shoulder injury, but the Canadian system came through when we needed it most and if my wait meant someone else with a more serious condition had their life saved after a timely MRI, I'm ok with that. S Stephens


  • The experience of a senior citizen couple in Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all

    As everyone can tell you, Canada's system isn't perfect, but it is certainly a vast improvement over the US system. In my years here in Canada, I have battled heart disease, including bypass surgery, degenerative disc disease, and two surgeries for cancer. My husband has had several knee replacements. All this has been at no cost to us. Now that we are over 65, prescription drugs are also included. I watched how much my mother paid for her insulin and a plethora of other drugs in the US, even with Part D of Medicare and an Insurance plan and how that ate into her savings in her old age. To be fair, elective surgery and many specialties are rationed based on severity of illness. In my experience they are pretty good at triage, but you can end up on a wait list if your condition isn't urgent. I can see my family doctor within a day or two. All countries ration health care. In the US it's rationed based on who can pay. In Canada, it's rationed more on need. Hope this helps. Nobody should go bankrupt because they get sick. Jackie DiGiovanni


  • Overview from nearly 20 years in the UK #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I have been living in England since 2001. My health care here has been excellent. I don’t have a single “story” of why the care here is excellent but I do have a general ability to get on with my life and manage my own health because of the support I can count on from the NHS. I’ve experienced minor illnesses, a skin problem that required minor facial surgery, and mental health difficulties that required months of treatment. None of this cost me anything (okay, a small medicine co-pay but REALLY small – and limited since the NHS prescription card is a thing). Any time my son, who is now 19, was ill I could take him to the doctor (I’ve never lived anywhere more than 15 minutes’ walk from the doctor’s office) because no matter how little money we had, he was taken care of. I think back to my life in the US as a child - where my parents had to decide not only if I needed the doctor, but if we could afford to go. That is not my life and not my reality. I can take risks. I can travel. I can extend and renovate my home. I can buy a new car. I never have to hold money back to make sure I can afford the doctor or the hospital. I can be less than perfect with money and not die because of it. I want that for everyone. I want my friends back home to have the freedom I have that comes with universal health care. Regards, Arwen


  • A genuine experience from Austria #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Here´s a little anecdote of mine: While I was a student in Austria, one night my left ear popped as if I were in an airplane. I couldn´t hear much out of it, but went to bed hoping it would sort itself out by morning. When I woke up and still couldn´t hear, I decided to go to my doctor to check it out. He said, if I wanted, he could refer me to a specialist, and I got an appointment the same day with an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) doctor. This doctor quickly informed me that sudden hearing loss needs immediate treatment and referred me to the hospital where I was admitted that evening. After exhausting different treatment options, I had surgery about a week after my first symptom and then follow-up appointments for the next 6 months. Unfortunately, neither doctors in Austria, nor private specialists in the US have been able to tell me exactly what the cause was, but since the surgery I have regained about half of the hearing that I lost. All in all, I had over 10 doctor´s visits, more than a week´s stay in the hospital, and surgery. My monthly premiums at the time as a student were about 50-60 dollars. The only additional cost I had was 10-15 dollars per day in the hospital to cover meals. Austria´s government insurance program works quickly and affordably and gives the people a sense of security that I´ve never felt in the US health market.


  • A comparative story from Australia #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Hi there, I’m a NC voter living in Australia and working for Bupa, a UK-based health insurer and care partner. Long before I had up-close experience with a functioning healthcare system and a private insurer who genuinely cares for its customers, I grew up in rural North Carolina with a chronically ill mother. Suffering from Lupus, cancer, and a wide range of related issues, my mom was often in and out of the hospital. Despite working gruelling hours, my dad always found it difficult to make ends meet. Any child who grew up with a seriously ill parent knows all too well the anguish of seeing a loved one in pain, the pitying head pats from Sunday school teachers, and the stomach-dropping discovery that someone you care about had to be rushed to the ER again. My time abroad has taught me that many Australians can commiserate with experiences like these. But most can’t understand the constant battle my parents waged just to make sure my mom could have health insurance. With so many pre-existing problems, it was always hard for my mom to secure a plan that could account for her many needs. The ramifications of poor health are acute enough; children don’t need to overhear their parents crying because they aren’t sure how to pay their medical bills. Thank goodness most Australians already understand this. While no system is perfect, Australia’s public/private hybrid allows consumers extra choice and extra comforts if they can afford them, while supplying basic care for those who can’t. This likely contributes to the comparable cleanliness, safety, and overall better quality of life that Australians tend to enjoy. President Obama took on great political risk to try and fix our own broken system. He did this by selecting a bipartisan compromise: a market-based solution that originated from the Heritage Foundation. While the ACA is definitely flawed, I know that it helped other little girls avoid at least some of the pain I felt. I am repulsed by the moral failure of politicians who have decided that cynical machinations are more pressing than fixing the ACA’s flaws. Their disregard for American lives is alarming. Other countries have recognised that investing in their citizens’ well-being pays dividends; I pray that one day America will wake up to the value of a similar investment. 


Retired Foreign Service Officer, having served in 19 countries in nine geographic regions of the world. Passions are advocacy for democracy and democratic values and multi-culturalism. Personal passions include sports and bridge