Healthcare Stories

Health care stories from abroad

Thank you to everyone who has sent in their universal health care story. As you can see from the very many stories in the pages below, many Americans living abroad feel strongly about this issue. We believe that our stories will make a difference by showing the many sides of universal healthcare - from an average check up, to a hospital stay, to stories about our lives being saved thanks to universal health care.

Would you like to add your story? It's not too late, here's how: Take a selfie with our selfie card (or draw your own!), then add your picture and story in the texbox. You can also make a video and send in the url (just add the link in the textbox). 

We'll share these stories with Congress to help in their fight for affordable healthcare for all Americans. 
Please note that the stories below are all user submited and reflect individual opinions. 

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A New Lease on Life #DAresists #Medicare4all

At my heaviest, I weighed over 310 lbs. I was dealing with diabetes, with high blood pressure, with all sorts of chronic illnesses. Even walking a city block left me out of breath. Life, put simply, sucked.

I had been recommended for weight loss surgery while living in the U.S., but it would have cost nearly $30,000. And my laundry list of ailments meant I would have never found health coverage on the private markets before the Affordable Care Act came into force.

In the interim, I moved to Canada, where even though I waited a while, I did end up having the surgery at a hospital in Montreal.

The cost? US$60. And that's because I wanted a private room.

Since my surgery, I've lost almost 110 lbs. I can run and walk without pain. Climbing stairs is no longer an impossible task. My ailments have mostly resolved themselves. I have a new lease on life. And all this without having to seek bankruptcy.

Universal healthcare has restored my hope for a future. The time has come to ensure that all Americans are able to access the healthcare they need, without having to leave the United States. Full stop.

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My health story as a Golden Ager #DAresists #Medicare4all

I married a Canadian, became a landed immigrant at the border and after 3 months had my medical care at a reasonable price. Now that I am older, my income is below the poverty line and dont pay health insurance. My doctors visits are free (more or Less), no hospital expenses except medications and 10 partly paid visits to physiotherapists, registered massage therapist, podiatrist, chiropractor, natuorpathic doctor, each year. For many years, I wanted to go home to the United States., but now I am lucky and blessed to be in Canada, where the health of people is taken care of. Ireta Cowall Fisher

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Germany: the best health coverage I've ever had #DAresists #Medicare4all

I am an American citizen living in Germany and insured through the country's universal healthcare system. Although private insurance is also available here, the vast majority of people have the standard public insurance, and I can see why. It's by far, hands down the BEST health insurance I've ever had. It's simple, affordable, there are virtually no bureaucratic hurdles, and, best of all, any treatment you might need is paid for in full so NO risk of bankruptcy. The premiums are taken from your paycheck every month, exactly like Social Security, are income-based so everyone can afford it, and there are no surprise costs. Ever. The German public healthcare system covers a standard range of check-ups and procedures, which are automatically covered 100%. This range includes preventive care and standard treatment for ALL acute and chronic illnesses and injuries, including pre-existing conditions and basic dental. If there is going to be a charge for any additional treatment not covered by the public insurance (for example, higher quality materials for dental fillings), the doctor has to disclose the exact amount to the patient. The patient then has to sign a statement saying they consent to pay a pre-disclosed amount of money, BEFORE the care is provided. Patients are never required to pay for something they didn't consent to. Even if you do have to pay for something out of pocket the cost is very affordable (especially compared to the outrageous prices Americans are forced to pay). For example, the last time I had bloodwork done I requested a vitamin B12 test, which was not covered by the public insurance, and I only paid 14 euros (about $17) for it. I can hardly express how much safer it makes me feel to know that the cost of my healthcare is completely taken care of. I don't have to worry about it, ever. It's such a relief to know that I won't be surprised by costs that the insurance company just randomly decided not to pay for, which has happened to me several times with private insurance in America and has cost me hundreds and hundreds of dollars. It's comforting to know that here in Germany I will never be faced with the possibility of bankruptcy simply due to an illness or injury. That is a comfort I will never have in America unless something major changes. And in addition to the costs for treatment being completely taken care of, the premiums are affordable because they are solely determined by income. This is not only great because everyone contributes what their income allows, but it also prevents discrimination based on age, sex or health status. Women, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are not charged more than anyone else. This is the way a humane, civilized healthcare system should be. I think America should adopt many of the conveniences and much of the humanity of the German universal healthcare system. When I go to the doctor here, I show my insurance card when I arrive, they scan it (it has an NFC chip with my information on it), and when my appointment is done I just leave. No paperwork, no copays, no fussing around with bureaucracy. I love that about the German system, and that's how the American system should be too. It will be crucial to look to other countries for inspiration and models that America can base a universal healthcare system on. Look particularly to northern European countries like Finland and Denmark, which have even more streamlined public systems than Germany. Looking to those countries can give a good idea in terms of content of a universal health plan. I also think looking to what Americans would consider "third world" countries with universal public healthcare systems is also useful, since it shows that a system that includes everyone doesn't have to cost a huge amount of money. It's time that America joined the rest of the developed world in providing healthcare to all citizens and residents as a right, and not as a privilege to be bought and sold by the wealthy. A single-payer, Medicare-for-all universal healthcare system is the best choice. If that existed I might even consider moving back to the States, but as it is I'm going to stay in Germany where my health is protected and where my entire financial future can't be compromised by one accident or illness.

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The price of health should not be stress and debt #DAresists #Medicare4all

I am an America who has lived in a number of different countries (now in the UK). I gave birth to my daughter in France. Due to complications, I ended up in hospital for 4 weeks before she was born, prematurely, by C-section. After another 2 weeks in the hospital in a special unit for premature babies and their mothers, we left the hospital together, both healthy. My costs for all this? A small fee for the hospital meals I had eaten, in the final week in which I was discharged but allowed to remain with my baby. That's it. A very stressful time was not made more stressful by fears of mounting hospital bills, and there was no question that we would not get the care we needed. We moved to Norway, did not pay any supplemental health insurance, but were taken care of wonderfully by the state. Now I live in the UK, where our health care is likewise available without massive stress and worry and cost. It saddens me to visit my family and friends in America, and hear stories of their struggles to pay for the care they need or worse, to go into debt or to go without and suffer, as they cannot finance it. It is to me, by far more sensible, and by far more civilised, to make universal health care a right, not something that anyone should have to worry about having access to. Health care should be affordable and accessible; much of the world has realised this. Isn't it time that America woke up to the fact that capitalism can be compassionate? It does not have to mean brutal survival of the fittest/richest (i.e. those able to earn enough to afford the "luxury" of health). We need to be a society that recognises basic human dignity and needs; a healthy and secure society is a happy and productive society.

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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?

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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.

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#DAresists #Medicare4all

Last year in Iceland, we welcomed our first children, a beautiful baby boy. We arrived at the hospital with the birth plan of having a natural birth, but open to invention if we should need it. Everything was going well, but about 8 hours after we arrived, I had stopped dialating and labor has moved to a glacial pace. In order to try and get things going again, my water was broken and I was given an IV to help things moving. By this point, the pain was becoming very difficult and, with no near end in sight, I got an epidural. It was also during this time that I started becoming very cold and shivering, so I was given a second IV with antibiotics. Soon followed a catheter and constant surveillance by obstetricians, nurses, and midwives, as my baby's heartbeat was also taking unexplainable dips for no apparent reason. After the dilation had stopped completely, the obstetrician was monitoring his wellbeing and found that he was becoming distressed. I was then prepared for an emergency C-section and after 20 minutes, I finally had my beautiful baby boy in my arms. The day after his birth, while recovering from my C-section, the pediatric doctor took my baby to the NICU, as he was breathing way too fast and wasn't eating that well. It was discovered that he had water in his lungs, and while it would go away on his own most likely, he needed a feeding tube while it resolved itself and we had an extra 3 day stay in the hospital. Four days after we arrived at the hospital, my husband, my son and I were finally ready to go home, but we had to settle our bill first. I didn't know what to expect, but then we found out it was $35 - $35!! And that is only because my husband stayed at the hospital with me and was basically a bill for the meals that he ate while there with me. After all that - IV antibiotics, extra doctors, epidural, emergency C-section, and a 3 day stay at the NICU, plus countless procedures while he was there - that was our bill. I am so grateful for the Icelandic healthcare that helped me bring home a healthy baby and didn't leave my family with piles of bills to pay. Our first day's as new parents were spent falling absolutely in love with our new bundle of joy and not in a panic attack about how to pay for some ungodly bills.

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Complete Peace of Mind #DAresists #Medicare4all

When my family and I moved to Germany in 1972, we hesitated to go to the doctor, not convinced that it wouldn't cost us anything. But it didn't take long for us to become believers and appreciate the excellent coverage for everything from a cold or flu to checkups, operations, chronic conditions, including dental care, hospital stay, and prescription medications -- everything covered and at a reasonable cost. I would like to share just one example: When our son was just finishing his university studies, rheumatoid arthritis hit him with a vengence. It soon became clear that he would not be able to successfully persue a career in teaching as he had planned and he dropped out of college to concentrate of getting treatment. He was insured through the university, but as a non-student he needed to look for new health insurance. Although his "precondition" was obvious, whatever insurer he chose was obligated to accept him, That company has already paid out hundreds of thousands of euros for him, including two hip replacements and significant regular medication costs . There has never been any balking on the part of the health care provider whatsoever. Imagine what the situation would have been in America, trying to find a provider with that kind of precondition. But here in Germany he and the rest of the family enjoys complete peace of mind, knowing that whatever health issues come along, and there have been many through the years, we have nothing to worry about. Everything will be taken care of. And we look at what is currently happening in the US Congress regarding health care legislation and can only shake our heads and wonder. Unfathomable! Roy Lynn Pugmire Bremen, Germany

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crash / heal #DAresists #Medicare4all

This summer I had a mountain bike accident and broke both wrists, my collarbone, and two ribs. I was transported to the hospital by a helicopter in a difficult rescue and treated in the emergency room, immediately. The accident has thus far involved three hospital stays of 3 to 4 days each and two operations under full anaesthesia. Everything was covered including all future expenses for physical therapy and elective surgery to have plates removed. I come from Massachusetts and have always experienced good medical care. The difference is that here in Austria I work freelance but have state insurance that covers me for all medical needs at a minimal cost with little or no deductible. I can focus on healing and feel safe to just rest and wait till my injuries recover to go back to work. Although it feels unreal, it is an amazing and true privilege of life in a country where healthcare is a right, not a luxury.

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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.

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Lesson from Abroad: Americans are getting shafted #DAresists #Medicare4all

I live in Germany, which has universal health insurance but actually allows people to opt between the public insurance or a private insurer. I'm privately insured. The premiums are higher than the German public plan but far lower than what I as a freelancer was paying in the USA before I emigrated. Since arriving in Germany, I have had surgery for a meniscus tear and my gall bladder has been removed. In both cases, I chose the doctor I wanted and I was able to schedule an appointment at least as quickly as in the USA. I would occasionally check back with relatives who are doctors in the USA, showing them MRI scans or test results, and they were always impressed first at the quality of the treatment (for example the quality of the scans) as well as the price of the treatment. Medication costs are also far lower here: I have to take Irbesartan and Amlodipine for high blood pressure, and, again, the doctors I know in the USA are consistently impressed at the price differential, even for these two medications that have been around for ages and which should be cheap in the US as well. I get very sad when I read about the healthcare debate in the US -- the falsehoods that people disseminate about the quality of care in countries with universal healthcare aren't just irritating to me personally because I know they're not true; what bothers me the most is the knowledge that millions of Americans are not getting the quality of care that they are entitled to as human beings because of all this misinformation. A friend of mine (American) from high school died before she reached the age of 40 because she couldn't afford the proper care for her diabetes. I've never heard of anything like that happening in Germany. Americans deserve better.

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Universal health care story #DAresists #Medicare4all

I had a bicycle accident in April. I am 69 years old and it was quite a 'break' in my life. I still work and like anyone who has an accident, i was no prepared. I broke my leg and my elbow (still recovering!). Passers by were helpful. Called the ambulance which took me to the nearest hospital where i was treated the same as everyone else and waited my turn for a very excellent bunch of services including x-ray, CT Scan, MRI and eventually surgery on both parts of my body. Complete with titanium implants. I was then taken to an amazing rehab facility which is attached to the hospital and given really wonderful care until i was able to walk with a cane and get up the 14 steps to my second floor upon returning home. Everything from start to finish was kind, compassionate and quite proficient. Once i returned home i was given 8 sessions of physiotherapy and assistance taking showers until i could manage it myself. all the wonderful care kept me from being depressed (they also provided me with pain killers and any other things i needed, which in my case was minimal). On account of this i was highly motivated to continue my own care after returning home. If i had had to make decisions about what to spend money on or not (i am not insured with work. My care was totally OHIP covered) it would have been a much more stressful and less successful recovery. As it was it took from April 13th when i had the accident to May 6th, when i returned home to get me more or less out of the system. Follow up was good as well. the surgeon kept his eye on me until the bones were successfully knitted. I shudder to think what it would have been like without universal health care. I have watched my niece in the USA decide not to go to the hospital for stitches after cutting herself badly with glass because she couldn't really afford it. Her pensioned mother had to offer. Ridiculous. My other, less specific input is that I was a single mother with a deadbeat ex for many years. I never had to worry about medical care for myself or my daughter. one less form of humiliation not to mention security. I am deeply grateful to live in a country that offers this to all it's people.

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18 month old daughter with severe case of bronchiolitis #DAresists #Medicare4all

My daughter was 18 months old and had been suffering from congestion for about a week. I didn't think much of it until she woke up one night and I noticed that she was having labored breathing. She laid still in her crib, her chest collapsing. She wasn't crying so it was clearly evident that something was wrong. We immediately took her to the hospital where she was admitted immediately. We spent 3 days in the hospital, the first night being the most intense. She was connected to an IV, had a catheter, and had to wear an oxygen mask. Every few hours the nurses came in to administer her dose of steroids. They bathed her and did their best to keep her from crying. It was difficult to watch because she was just a baby and was being pricked by needles and forced to endure other scary moments that would be difficult even for adults to handle. After a few days, she was cleared to go home. When they handed us the paperwork we weren't quite sure what to do. The nurses looked at us like we were crazy because we just stood there waiting to be handed some kind of bill. Prior to this, I don't think I really had a strong opinion because I had never had an experience to know otherwise. However, from that day on, I feel very adamant about socialized healthcare. The pediatricians, pediatric nurses, and ER staff provided excellent care. Had this happened in the United States, we would have had to have paid a few thousand dollars, not taking into account the medicine that was required afterward either. Her nebulizer and salbutomal inhaler, together, cost less than €20. This is just one example, but I have many others. Both my children were born in Spain so we have numerous experiences dealing with the healthcare system. No parent, or anyone for that matter, should have to worry about the cost of medical treatment when it comes to the health of a loved one.

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America needs to get with the program when it comes to healthcare #DAresists #Medicare4all

My name is MacKenzie, I'm 31 years old, and I currently live in Düsseldorf. Back in 2010 while I was still living in the US, I was diagnosed with MS. The disease process actually started in 2007, so as you can imagine, there was a lot of anxiety and emotional upheaval leading up to the diagnosis, as I tried to figure out what was wrong with me and what had changed in my body. When I finally did receive my diagnosis, I was given a presciption for Copaxone, a disease modifying drug. I was warned by my doctor that this drug was pricey (around $2500 a month without insurance), and insurance only covered 50% of the cost. Therefore, I was told that I needed to contact, Teva, the company that produces the drug, to procure additional financial support from their Shared Solutions program. At this time, I was just out of college, only partially employed, and living with my parents (I know, awesome time in my life). I called Teva and was asked to submit information regarding my monthly income and expenses so that they could determine whether or not I qualify for aid. I told the lady on the phone that I was making well below $25,000 a year and that I had a large student loan to service. She said that the aid program doesn't take student debt into account, and asked about my rent costs. I told her I lived with my parents at the moment, and she indirectly instructed me to lie and say that I am paying rent, and that if I didn't, I likely would not get suitable aid. I thank that lady, because the program did end up paying the leftover costs due to that small detail. Still, it was necessary for me to submit my income, expense, and insurance information, plus a form/questionnaire annually by a certain deadline in order to prove that I don't make enough money to pay over $1000 a month for a drug necessary to my well-being. This process was relatively involved, circuitous, and stressful for someone reeling from a recent life-changing diagnosis, and I feel very lucky that I had the support of my family at that time. I actually had to ask my mother to make some calls and pretend to be me on certain days, as I was too overwhelmed (and still recovering from the relapse that led to my diagnosis) to handle business myself. I also think it important to mention that my neurologist of choice was located in New York City (I am from New Jersey), and that my insurance would not cover the cost for these appointments, as he was 'out of network'. Therefore, I paid $350 per appointment to see him every 6 months. I also sunk thousands of dollars into bi-annual/annual MRIs, as my yearly $1500 deductible always needed to be met. Just for comparison, I am insured with TK, and I receive my current medication for 10 EUR a month. I do not need to submit any income/expense information for this, I just get my prescription from my doctor and bring it to the Apotheke. My last stay in the hospital (which lasted 3 days and included extensive testing-- MRIs, EEG, a visit from a physical therapist, and Cortisone treatment) yielded a 50 EUR bill. If I were still in the US, I would have needed to debate whether or not the attack was bad enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room and its associated costs. When Obama was president, my family used to ask why I don't come home. They have stopped asking, because do I even need to answer? It's a sad fact that America is a place where one literally cannot afford to be unlucky or unhealthy.

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Living with a disability in Australia is not a death sentence #DAresists #Medicare4all

I was disabled after a car accident and I have to be very careful with money as I am now on a pension. But I never have to worry about my doctors fees, my doctor bulk bills my account so it has no cost to me, my prescriptions are supported by the government so they only cost about $6, and any scans I need, like for a breast lump I felt last year, are covered under Medicare so I don't need to choose between eating and getting treatment as needed. Luckily for me, my tests came back negative, but others are not so lucky and catching something early is the best way to fix it. Imagine being too scared of the costs to go in and treat something before it becomes a problem?

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Reflections from The Netherlands #DAresists #Medicare4all

I pay 178 euros per month for fairly decent coverage for a senior. However it is on the price rise every year. I am still grateful for the service and I am appalled at the state of America. kind regards M.L.Moher

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Romney Care was a life saver that should be available to all #DAresists #Medicare4all

My mother contracted Alzheimer’s in her mid 70s (about 20 years ago) after a fall and a hospital stay that required giving her morphine for the pain. Although she her broken ribs healed, her mind was never the same. Her general forgetfulness turned into otherworldliness. The cost of in-home daycare was prohibitive and after we got home, still wiped us out each night trying to keep up with her. She was still ambulatory, but was out of our control — sort of like a large 3-year old. After a few years of shuffling her back and forth between family homes every six months or so (my brother in Massachusetts, a cousin in Florida and eventually me in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico), It was obvious we couldn't care for her that way any longer. She had worked all her life at low-income wages, had her own home, but couldn't live there any longer alone and her income was only about 600 dollars in social security per month. We looked into rest homes in Massachusetts, where my brother could keep an eye on her, but we couldn't afford them — the minimum cost was about 3,000 U.S. per month. My brother and Icould only come up with about 400-500 dollars per month each from our meager incomes. So we sold her home and she stayed in Mexico, where a rest home run by a well-respected gerontologist could take care of her for less than 14,000 dollars per year, everything included.She got progressively less responsive and finally couldn't recognize her family. Eventually, after almost eight years here in Mexico, even with us chipping in the money ran out, and we looked for other options. Ex-Governor Mitt Romney had run for president and while bad mouthing government-paid health care to appease the Republican base, but had left a fantastic system in place in Massachusetts. So we flew Mom home from Guadalajara (not an easy task) and worked the system for a couple of difficult months with expensive in-home care until we were able to get her into a rest home in Hyannis, were my brother could see her a few times a week and other nearby relatives could check in on her. The state health care system paid for everything and even left my brother with a few dollars each month from what was left from her meager social security so he could get her hair cut, buy her new clothes, some glasses so she could see us, ect. She passed away three years ago at 91 years old.We were thankful that she was well cared for her last three years in her home state and that we weren’t bankrupt in the process. I think that people who work their whole lives and play by the rules shouldn’t be dumped because they weren’t in a high-earning bracket.Most of the people I know make less than their parents did in the 1950s ‘60s and ‘70s, when the U.S. working class had pretty good wages and benefits. My dad, a fellow who never went to college, but is one of the Great Generation, who went to WWII and worked for the federal and state governments, makes more with his various pensions than I can take home with my white-collar job running my own business. That sums up a lot of working folks situations these days. If health care for the working class isn’t a priority for a nation that spends more on health care then any country in the world, then why should national cohesion be expected?How can we be expected to be good citizens when the country takes us for granted? I don’t advocate a socialized economy, but I think what I’ve read and heard about universal health care coverage is part of what makes the United States a great nation. It takes care of its own.I do not think that leaving the half of the nation that can least afford it to fend for itself when the chips are down is part of the American dream, that the Great Generation fought for or part of the legacy they left us. I've lived in Mexico for the past 27 years and see what unequal systems can do to destabilize national cohesion — and this in a fairly homogeneous country. In a country like the U.S. where more than 30 percent of the population are immigrants, only the rule of law and the idea of fairness can keep the country united. Don't let inequality in one of the most basic situations in life —the health of the nation's people — make the country I have been mostly proud to call mine turn into a place where only the rich can survive. Sean Godfrey Former Massachusetts resident Registered Democrat

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Back Surgery in France : being treated like a human being. #DAresists #Medicare4all

In 2014 I had to have back surgery to remove a severely herniated disc. Leading up to the surgery I had an X-ray, two MRIs, two non-effective cortisone injections and ultimately a referral to the top spinal surgeon in Paris. I had to stop working because I could not stand, lay, walk or sit in comfort. I was given many medications over the period leading up to eventually necessary surgery. In France, this type of surgery requires multiple nights in the hospital. I checked in on Friday afternoon for my surgery later that day. I checked out Monday afternoon after the surgeon and the orthopedist had both performed further examinations and made sure I could walk properly. After 6 more weeks off of work, I went back to my job having continued to earn 70% full salary over the 3 months off of work. I can't even imagine having had my surgery in the US. I paid a total of €150 out of pocket for doctors visits, medications, treatment and diagnosis leading up to and including back surgery and a three night stay in the hospital. And that 150 was to pay for my mom to have a bed in my room and three meals a day with me. In the US I'd be bankrupt. It's a government's duty to protect its citizens. It should not be the party responsible for doing its citizens harm.

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Great Endorsement of Universal Coverage from the UK #DAresists #Medicare4all

Dear Democrats Abroad, I'll gladly tell you what it means to have The National Health Service, free for all and a small charge for non EU"s. First, it's a load off your mind, phew. Secondly, although the buildings may not look swish, although some do, there is nothing you can't be treated for. I have had a heart valve replacement, and also Non Hogkins Lymphoma, needing surgery and radiotherapy. I paid not a penny and had excellent treatment throughout. The NHS is the Britain's finest achievement. The measure of a county's greatness is not in the size of it's armies and weapons, but in it's education of children, and it's care of the sick and elderly. I so hate ithe idea that many Americans just don't 'get' this. Shirlee Matthews

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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

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