CZ Chair

  • tagged Wright Salisbury's My experience with the French health care system #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:21:55 -0400

    My experience with the French health care system #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Last September I fell and couldn't get up. The spirit was willing but my femur wasn't, as evidenced by my right foot sticking out at a 90 degree angle from what I presumed to be my leg. Someone called the pompiers, who scooped me up and drove me (at no cost to me) to the nearest hospital. There I had to wait a day while they took more urgent cases (one woman was aborting), but the next they replaced my femur with a titanium rig guaranteed not to set off alarms at airports. I was placed in a private room and a therapist came daily for 10 days to walk me around the halls. Nurses fed me, helped me into and out of bed and spoke French at me, which forced me to speak my appalling French to them. After I was sent home, another therapist came twice a week to coach me in walking again and teach me exercises. Nurses came daily to message my leg and give me pills, probably anti-coagulants. (As a tough-guy American, I declined pain medicine.) The whole episode cost me 14,000 euros. (Had I been French, it would have been free.) In the U.S., it would have cost in excess of $100,000. Recovery was predictably slow. I am only now learning to run, very gingerly and slowly, on absolutely flat paving. I have nothing but praise for the French health car system. I have read that it is ranked the best in the world. Australia's is ranked second, with the American somewhere near the bottom in quality and highest in cost. Wright Salisbury

  • tagged Martha McDevitt-Pugh's No financial worries when recovering from hosptalization #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:20:42 -0400

    No financial worries when recovering from hosptalization #DAresists #Medicare4all

    In the Netherlands, I spent 2 weeks in the hospital to treat a major infection. I never saw a bill. I didn't have to worry about how I was going to pay. My treatment in the hospital and recovery at home was fully covered and all administration was handled by the insurance company. I could focus on getting well.

  • tagged Paul Mayer's Two active children and no healthcare costs #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:19:31 -0400

    Two active children and no healthcare costs #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I live in Denmark and have two wonderful, active children ... * Starting with two beautiful births, in water, with everything required for my wife's and the children's safety and comfort ... free, well planned and safe * Uncountable trips to the emergency room for ankles, arms, concussions, ... free, very close by and fast * Meningitis scare with fast specialist escalated treatment, two days in the hospital on a children's ward ... free, well-managed and compassionate * All dental up to the age of 18, annual check-ups, braces, and - even just yesterday - severely bashed front teeth ... free, on school premises or very close by Denmark is doing a lot of 'fiddling' with the healthcare system, but moving away from single payer is not on the agenda. The peace of mind it brings us to have free, high-quality healthcare available on demand for our children is immeasurable.

  • tagged William Donelson's Half my life in the UK now, medical services superb and free. #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:19:11 -0400

    Half my life in the UK now, medical services superb and free. #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I have lived in the UK since 1985 (minus 1988-1990 in California). I have always had very good support from my local doctors and their offices. Usually you can call in the morning and get an appointment the same day from one of the staff doctors at the office. Waiting times vary from 10-45 minutes, usually 15-20 mins.


    I have had the usual range of illnesses over that period, plus recently prostate cancer and cataract surgery. I have not paid a penny for any of my superb treatments: cataract lens replacement (brilliant), prostate cancer treatments, including DaVinci robotic prostatectomy, and thirty-three IMRT computer-controlled radiation treatments follow-up. I’ve had many addition surgeries and procedures on my urethra etc.

    My bus/train travel was even rebated to me until I turned 63 and I now have a 100% free travelcard in the London area for buses and trains. I continue on a variety of medications, all 100% free and supplied at my local pharmacy. (There is a flat fee of about $12 per subscription before the age of 60, usually)

    Without exception, every staffmember and doctor has treated me with skill and respect, and a genuine joy at being able to help me. I am blessed.

  • tagged Lynn Chasson's Why are my lungs bad?#DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:18:50 -0400

  • tagged Kayte Ranieri's These hips don't lie #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:17:59 -0400

    These hips don't lie #DAresists #Medicare4all

    One day when I was riding my bike, my left hip sublaxed. I didn't think much of it the second and third time. It came to a point where I could barely walk without excrusiating pain. At 26 years old I didn't think this was normal. After a trip to my GP I was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. There was a local doctor who was a specialist in treatment and we scheduled a surgery for 4 months later. After a 8 day stay in the hosptial I only had a bill of 350 euros. I live in Belgium and was suggested to take out a hospital insurance for 150 euros per year on top of my 75 euros a year universal healthcare. This covered my entire stay and the rehibilitation for 3 months. If I had been in the US it would have cost me around $500,000 without insurance. Now I can bike pain free and live my life. I don't know what I would have done without the Universal healthcare. And the sad thing is that since I was born with the defect, I would have been rejected the surgery as a pre-existing condition. Please Congress help everyday people get the care they need and deserve. By providing healthcare in a system that keeps costs in check we can manage it. You never know what the next day will bring and what your needs will be even in the short term.

  • tagged Mitch Strohminger's Prescription drugs #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:16:17 -0400

    Prescription drugs #DAresists #Medicare4all

    When I lived in the US, I had to pay a $200 deductible every month when I got my prescription asthma medication refilled. In Canada, the medicine is covered by the public insurance, so I don't need to make the choice to forgo my asthma medications.

  • tagged Heather Ryerson's Obscene US prescription drug prices #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:15:23 -0400

    Obscene US prescription drug prices #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Post-Obamacare, my $225/mo health insurance offered my branded birth control at $20/3-month supply, but it was always listed on my bill as a retail price of $350/3-month supply (without insurance). Great value, right? After marrying and moving to the UK, I went to the NHS to request birth control. I asked for the prescription I'd been using in the US on my health insurance. The NHS told me that this brand was not offered by the NHS in England as it is too price prohibitive on their system. Instead, they offered me other free options. To carry me over as I weighed my decision, I was told I could go direct to a local high street pharmacy and buy my desired product out-right without a prescription that day. I did that. The over-the-counter cost of this "expensive" product in the UK — without prescription or insurance? £40/3-month supply (roughly $52). Americans are being cheated with prescription drug prices, whether they pay for them out-of-pocket or through their high insurance premiums. If you imagine that £13.33/mo is too much to spend per UK patient on birth control, then the UK population is receiving the same pharmaceuticals being distributed in the US — but at a seriously lower cost. The US could be getting the same deal if we demanded regulation on extortionate profit margins.

  • tagged Claire Pirkle's Raising a child with Marfan Syndrome #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:04:08 -0400

    Raising a child with Marfan Syndrome #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Although I only planned on moving to Ireland for a year, I ended up meeting my current husband and am now raising a family here. As incredibly health conscious individuals, we never relied on healthcare other than the occasional broken bone. This changed two years ago when my daughter failed her eye test in junior infants (the equivalent of kindergarten). They discovered she had a rare, spontaneous genetic condition that required almost immediate eye surgery and will mean ongoing cardiac, ophthalmology and orthopaedic treatment her entire life. My husband has worked in teaching for 25 years and has a stable but not high paying job; I worked in the non-profit sector (ironically with blind people). Without universal healthcare, we would have been destroyed emotionally, financially, and spiritually. While healthcare here is far from perfect, it allows our family to live stress free and remain active, healthy citizens who contribute to the well being of society. It is insane Congress would consider anything less than universal healthcare. #DAresists #Medicare4all

  • tagged Anne Jorstad's Two new lungs #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 08:29:45 -0400

    Two new lungs #DAresists #Medicare4all

    My uncle needed to have both his lungs transplanted. Both he and my aunt are teachers and would not have been able to afford the tremendous cost of this procedure plus a life-time of followup procedures in the US. Fortunately, they live in Canada, where almost everything was completely covered. They paid about $1000 total out of pocket over the course of several years. People often talk about the long waits in Canada, but other than waiting for the lungs themselves (and that wait would have been at least as long in the US), there was never a wait for anything.

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  • published DACZ Sends a Message to Congress in News 2017-02-07 08:50:13 -0500

    DACZ Sends a Message to Congress

    daczwritingevent.JPGOn the evening of Thursday, February 2, Democrats Abroad Czech Republic held a “Send Congress a Message” event in Beckett’s Irish Pub, in downtown Prague.

    Despite the icy weather, what began as a gathering in a cozy side room turned into a group of about 50 people that had to branch out into the main bar. DACZ provided paper, envelopes, a list of tips on writing a letter to Congress, and three sample letters as food for thought: one opposing the appointment of Steve Bannon to the National Security Council, one concerning the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, and the last against the seven country ban.

    Letter writers were free to write Congress and other governing bodies about issues of concern, and participants helped each other look up local representatives. Other topics such as the DAPL, opposition to Betsy DeVos’ Education Secretary nomination, the ACA repeal, LGBTQAI civil rights and safety, and concerns about White nationalism bounced around the room and made it onto paper as Beckett’s outstanding servers brought food and drinks at lightning speed. The event was more than putting pens to paper; it was a time for everyone to voice concerns and find comfort in each other.

    Part of what made this gathering so special was the presence of people from outside the Czech capitol. To help bring people together in the spirit of support networks and activism, DACZ plans to expand these events on a national level by making sample letters easily accessible so people throughout the Czech Republic can hold their own events. Information on these events will soon be available on DACZ's events page and Czech out DACZ’s Facebook page

    by R. Samson



    DA Czech Republic was proud to participate in the January 21st Prague Solidarity Rally with the Women's March in Washington. Starting at noon, ralliers gathered at the Horse on Wenceslas Square to share their concerns along with other supporters of democracy and human rights all around the world.

    It was wonderful to see so many Democrats Abroad members at the rally (and so many fantastic posters as well). Of course we could not be prouder of the Democrats Abroad members who helped with the amazing organization of the rally - Bonita Rhoads, Beth Russell, and Nancy Bishop, and who created puppets that became a worldwide hit - Leah Gaffen. The DACZ chair, Julia Bryan, was honored to be one of the speakers at the rally as well. 

    The rally was one of over 600 sister events of the Women’s March on Washington, taking place on President Donald J. Trump’s first day in office. Almost 5 million marchers marched across the globe.