Global Chair

  • tagged Ann Sutcliffe's I love the NHS #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:24:14 -0400

    I love the NHS #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I have been living in England for over 17 years (after having grown up in the US for over 25 years, with a father who was a doctor in the States up until about 1989), and have had numerous small treatments through the NHS, for both myself, my husband, and our two children. I have had a couple of minor surgeries for removing suspect moles (including one from my then 10-year old daughter), and have had two wonderful experiences with giving birth in a local NHS hospital (and the amazing after-care/home visits I received from health visitors for up to 6 weeks after giving birth) and haven't had to pay a penny (or pence) for any of our family's treatments, except of course the 20% basic rate tax I pay on my salary. I get free birth-control pills and if there has ever been a charge for a particular prescription I may have needed it has been extremely low (about £9.80 on average), and free for my children, including free ibuprofen (for pain). What this means to us as a family is we don't have to worry about anything like many Americans living in the States seem to, such as "what if I loose my job and I don't have my employer help me with insurance payments" or "what about my pre-existing conditions" or anything like that. The way the healthcare system is set up in England means that all of my family is automatically covered no matter what, and we don't have to worry if one of us suddenly gets ill. I wouldn't say we have never had to wait for appointments or results or such, but the waiting time seems to compare favorably with what I remember from the US system - and of course they prioritize appointments for children or urgent cases here. Overall I have no complaints about the NHS and think it's marvellous! I only wish the US could adopt something similar.


  • tagged Laura-May Abron's Healthy and debt-free in France #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:23:58 -0400

    Healthy and debt-free in France #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Here in France my parents both received excellent care for their cancers which were detected early thanks to all the help getting free screenings and cheap visits to specialists. I also received great care after a sport injury that required a shoulder operation, from identifying what the issue was with scans to my rehabilitation which cost me pennies with a great physical therapist. I hope the US will implement universal healthcare, it is something everyone needs at some point or another in their life.


  • tagged Kristina Bruce's I feel totally cared for. #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:22:51 -0400

    I feel totally cared for. #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Living and having grown up in Canada it has never crossed my mind that I would have to worry about medical costs should I get sick. If I don't feel well I go to the doctor, receive care, end of story. Now, I may have a prescription cost which I do have extended coverage from my employer, but to not have to worry about a cost just to visit the doctor which means I catch things early before they have the chance to become more serious. Yes, there may be longer wait times for some tests or procedures, but if it's an emergency there are no wait times. I am more than happy to wait a bit longer for a non-serious condition test if it means I can rest easy that I will not have to go into financial ruin because of it. Universal health care is the only humane form of health care.


  • tagged Erin Mushaway's Pneumonia in Argentina #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:22:38 -0400

    Pneumonia in Argentina #DAresists #Medicare4all

    In Argentina, there are two options: public health care, free for all, and a private option with private insurance companies. The private option is affordable. I am able to own a "Cadillac" plan paying on my own, out of pocket each month, as I work from home as an independent contractor. In 2012, I got pneumonia so serious that I spent five nights in the hospital. I was given a battery of tests: x-rays, Ct scans, blood tests. I was visited by a dietitian who built my hospital meals according to my illness and medications. I was visited daily by a physical therapist who taught me breathing exercises. I was visited by a hematologist daily who monitored my white blood cell count. I was visited by countless nurses and doctors around the clock and given breathing treatments. All of this treatment was included in my private health plan and I had to pay nothing on top of the co-pay I paid for my emergency room visit to be admitted. It's comforting to know that if I get sick I will be taken care of. I work hard and more than a full time schedule, more than 40 hours a week. But in the USA, working from home as a contractor, I wouldn't be given any insurance. I would be looked on as lazy for not getting a "real job" and getting insurance that way. This is unacceptable. There is also public healthcare here that offers comparable service to the private options. The difference is the infrastructure, the private hospitals are more modern, more polished. I've had friends go to public hospitals for surgeries and check ups and are charged nothing. I want to move home to the United States one day. The only thing, the ONLY thing that concerns me is the gamble of health insurance. What if I get into a car accident? What if I get sick? Will I lose everything? I shouldn't be afraid to move home because I may get sick.


  • 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 Maya Bendifallah's Knee, not bank, took a beating #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-20 09:20:55 -0400

    Knee, not bank, took a beating #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I was able to have my knee operated on four times with barely anything paid out of pocket. These operations were done by top-notch doctors in well-equipped hospitals. After my operations, I had months (actually, years) of physical therapy completely paid for through France's universal healthcare system. I feel so lucky to have gotten injured in France and not in the United States.


  • 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 Mitchell 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.


  • signed up on Taxation Task Force Signup 2017-08-28 12:40:26 -0400

    Taxation Task Force Signup

    Click below to receive periodic updates from the Taxation Task Force on our tax advocacy work.  We will message you when there are important updates and developments to report.

    Sign up

  • signed up on Hispanic Caucus Signup 2017-06-25 07:14:29 -0400

  • published Special Elections 2017 in Take Action 2017-03-19 17:10:25 -0400

Global Chair @DemsAbroad, representing the 9 million Americans living abroad.