Democrats Abroad Australia Chair

Civil Rights Activist Barbara Jordan said that "what the people want is simple - they want an America as good as its promise." This simple yet powerful quote guides my activism and involvement within Democrats Abroad. We can have an America of equity, fairness, accountability, transparency and democracy. To achieve this, we must create systems of fairness that create economic justice and structural equality. The Democratic party is our party. Through involvement overseas, we can help build that America that lives up to its aspirations. As an American living abroad, I feel privileged to be able to serve and contribute to fulfilling this vision.


  • Last Chance to Register US Citizens to vote for the Mid-Terms - Flyering & Info Handout

    This is it - the last push to get our future Democrats Abroad Australia members registered for 2018 Mid-Terms!

    Join us on Sunday, 7th October late morning for flyering and information handouts for the last chance for US Citizens to request their ballot.

    The first round of registration deadlines is 7th October (US Sunday for AK, AR, NJ, RI, SC) with many on the following Tuesday.

    It will be the last chance for people to request their ballot to get it in on time to vote in this crucial election!

    So, we’ll hand out the Vote From Abroad information to US Citizens which Australians can pass onto American friends and acquaintances they may know.

    Please meet at Federation Square corner in front of the tourism information booth.

    Anyone who has not done public flyering before will be paired up with an experienced volunteer!

    ** Rain plan TBD

    WHEN
    October 07, 2018 at 11am
    WHERE
    Federation Square
    2 Swanston St
    Melbourne, VIC 3004
    Australia
    Google map and directions
    1 rsvp rsvp

  • Democrats Abroad Australia Unites to Get-Out-The-Vote!

    Ever since officially launching the Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) effort at our Annual General Meeting, Democrats Abroad Australia members have declared that enough is enough from the current Republican administration.

    Democrats Abroad Australia is an organisation that is built on a network of supporting US Citizens who call Australia home. As we support each other socially, we build this community of Americans who live overseas and still believe in making a difference.

    We mobilise because we know every vote matters in this election.

    Democrats Abroad Australia volunteers across the country have been calling other members to ensure that we have all requested our ballot using the VoteFromAbroad absentee ballot request.

    Volunteers from many State Chapters have jumped online to make calls, whether this be together at social meetups for a phonebank or from the comfort of one’s own home.

    John Driggers, Democrats Abroad volunteer from South Australia says of the importance of phone banking:

    "The last presidential election was decided by just thousands of votes. Seventeen congressional seats were decided by margins of 5% or less. Republican Darrell Issa in California was re-elected by a margin of .05%. Democrat Rick Nolan in Minnesota took his seat with a margin of .06%. I am convinced that the single most useful thing I can do for the 2018 elections is to help get out the expat vote.

    We have contacted hundreds of members and will contact everyone to be sure that everyone is set to receive their ballot for the midterm election!

    The start of winter has welcomed the start of the new academic year and many students from the US have landed to study at academic institutions across Australia as part of their Study Abroad or Exchange.

    We have been out to greet them, canvassed at numerous campuses with voter registration booths, provided hundreds of flyers and advice on how they can make sure that their vote counts.

    A leader in our effort has been the incredible team of the NSW Chapter. Already a core team of volunteers have taken the initiative to stage voter registration awareness events at University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, and University of New South Wales with some encouraging results and several future events planned.

    Layne Mostyn, Democrats Abroad Queensland volunteer coordinator writes:
    We all know how critical this midterm election will be to the fate of our first country, and every vote counts! There are thousands of young US citizens studying in Australia - many of them first-time voters trying to navigate a confusing process - who care deeply about the issues we all face but may need support or a nudge in the right direction.”

    We continue to reach out to University staff, student clubs, and campus communication channels, asking them to help us get the word out.

    A staple of Democrats Abroad Australia is how we support each other. As we resist Trumpism, we resist the politics of division - and this means that we support one another through meetups and social events as part of our organisation.

    Our State Chapters have regular meetings and meetups where members come together and discuss what is most important about being a US citizen abroad.

    This of course includes at the moment our ambitious GOTV effort, movie watch parties, social hour at the pub, information on taxation abroad and much more.

    “I have found that regularly scheduled meet ups are a great opportunity for members to be engaged. I think people generally want to feel connected and regular meet-ups are like

    low hanging fruit. The NSW Chapter meet-ups see anywhere from 15-25 members showing up every month. We chat about GOTV efforts and have some friendly banter. Meet-ups are like the glue that holds the chapter together states Democrats Abroad NSW Chapter Chair Marla Minow.

    All members from all over Australia are welcome and encouraged to attend our meetings and any US citizen can join Democrats Abroad on the spot!

    We know that there are nearly 100,000 US Citizens living Down Under and Democrats Abroad Australia is making a coordinated effort online to attempt to reach this audience!

    Online and in social media, Democrats Abroad Australia is seeking to reach the nearly 100,000 US Citizens living Down Under.

    Using platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, we are sharing information about how any US citizen can use the VoteFromAbroad website to request their ballot.

    Democrats Abroad Australia Social Media Coordinator Shanna Nurkin writes:
    "Paid media allows us to message specific audiences (including US expats over 18) and ensure that we get in touch with the people online. We’ll always reach out using print, face-to-face and phonebanking but digital media allows us a cost-efficient solution to Get Out The Vote!

    Democrats Abroad Australia is committed to taking back the House and the Senate for the crucial midterm elections of 2018.

    We will have no regrets in our efforts to Get Out The Vote.

    There are numerous attacks on our democracy back home with voter suppression being rampant. Absentee ballots have won close elections in the past and every vote counts.

    These efforts and more will continue until election day on 6th November 2018.

    We welcome all members in Democrats Abroad Australia to be involved!

    Current members can get in touch with us via this form to register your interest and any US Citizens living in Australia can join Democrats Abroad!

    Kent Getsinger

    National Chair, Democrats Abroad Australia

    Democrats Abroad Australia (Democratic Party Caucus Abroad, DPCA) is the official overseas wing of the Democratic Party for American citizens living outside the US and its territories.

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  • published What is the America we want? in News 2018-08-18 01:58:00 -0400

    What is the America we want?

    It’s a question well worth asking.

    Especially now, we must be bold enough to ask this in the face of the current administration.

    Whether we have been in Australia for decades or just months, we look at the United States in disbelief at the depths to which the current administration continually takes our country.

    It isn’t just one man, but a segment of our national character that has brought out the worst.

    If we dare to contemplate it, this is indeed not just the actions of one individual. Not only does the current administration need to change, but does something much more within our culture.

    When we contemplate this, we realise: we are not just resisting Trump, but resisting Trumpism.

    When we resist Trumpism, something changes. The conversation, the dynamic, the focus the subject matter of what are we are truly up against. This forces us to have a look at the long ascendancy of attacks on equality and justice throughout the United States.

    We wake up to the unfortunate fact that there is a history of division in our country, one which we continually strive to change.

    Thus to truly resist Trump, we must focus on the factors which allow the politics of division to flourish.

    We know that we are inclusive in our organisation, we firmly hold that no one should be disadvantaged in any way because of their sex, gender, race, ethnicity, religion. However, the problems facing America now cut across the definitions of identity politics.

    So when we talk of the politics of division, we must also focus on the structural issues facing America.

    This in fact evolves our definition of what it means to be political. Politics is everywhere, touches every aspect of our lives, every action is a political one. This is not to reduce life’s complexity to the level of partisanship, no, absolutely not.

    This means that we need a sense of community and belonging that have not been part of our narrative. We need to inject this awareness and practice into the political sphere.

    We need a new political discourse that does not divide on the level of identity politics and does not cower behind ideology.

    What is needed is a real empathetic space where political issues can be debated, where leaning in is the default when seeing disagreement. It is holding the politics of division and allowing an accountable discourse to occur where the result is inclusion rather than exclusion.

    We will have disagreements, from within our own party at times, but we cannot avoid or nullify our difference through avoiding debate on real issues facing us. What we need to learn is the tools of compassion to hold disagreement while still ardently seeking reform and unity.

    It is only in this space that Trumpism will be defeated. Simultaneously, we must face difficult decisions of how our structural politics has not benefited those most vulnerable and in need. Our middle class has all but disappeared, the “working poor” is a reality and many Americans suffer the effects of staggering inequality.

    The stories are countless: single mothers working two full time jobs to make ends meet, a generation of tradespeople seeing their careers evaporate or exported overseas without a system of job-retraining, students facing insecure working environment with escalating student debt and many many Americans are suffering financially due to exorbitant healthcare costs.

    When the “economy” is discussed on the news, when do we hear about the effects on normal Americans? What is their life like? Where are their stories?

    As Martin Luther King Jr said: “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and although some of us may be in relative positions of privilege, that does not mean we avoid the threat facing America and so many of its residents.

    We cannot snap our fingers and to make all of this end. We must be aware that this trend has continued for some time and is getting worse.

    We will not be able to achieve equality immediately, that is real.

    However, that does not mean we should limit our aspirations, settle for mediocrity, nor defer our ambitions.

    We of course need to be realistic but we cannot accept anything less than the intention to make our home the best it can be and truly hold up to the “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” principle we hold as sacrosanct.

    This midterm election year will be crucial in our efforts to this end.

    As we assertively continue with our Get-Out-The-Vote efforts in Democrats Abroad Australia, we also find unity in our local meetings that bring people together for a sense of community.

    As we call Australia home, we desire what is best for our friends and family back home.

    Through our intention and our actions, is how we will create the America we want.

    In Unity,

    Kent Getsinger
    Democrats Abroad Australia, National Chair

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  • Australia in attendance at Global AGM in Tokyo Japan, 25-27th May, 2018

    This year representatives of Australia attended the Democrats Abroad (Democratic Party Committee Abroad - DPCA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Tokyo, Japan. Representing the DA Australia ExCom were myself, Ritu Clementi (online, via WebEx) and Justin Underwood (DAA Canberra Chair and proxy for Ritu).

    This is a crucial year not only to take back Congress and the Senate, but one in which we are fighting for the soul of our country.

    I am very pleased that this year’s AGM went beyond just “resistance” to the Trump agenda. We pushed for the Democratic agenda to be bold and attract members back to the party. This was highlighted in speakers such as Will Hailer, Senior Advisor to Tom Perez and Ken Martin, President of the State Democratic Chairs. It was clear that in the age of Trump, we must do more than just “be” Democrats. We must go out and have challenging conversations and be bold to push ourselves and our party beyond our comfort zone.

    At an all DA dinner on Saturday night, Michael Blake, Vice Chair of the DNC, gave a very impassioned and energetic speech in a call to action. He stated that we should be less triggered by the awfulness of what Trump says on Twitter and instead find the key issues that bind us as Democrats and use these to vote in the people we want, a sentiment I deeply share.

    This is why in addition to representing Australia, I advocated for the newly formed Progressive Caucus (ProDA) specifically about the forthcoming Healthcare Stories pamphlet to be shared with Congressional staff in support of Medicare for All. By all expert accounts, Healthcare will be an organising rally for GOTV this year and you will soon see what DA Global will produce to affect this end. DA Australia and ProDA were and will be instrumental in this effort--watch this space.

    In addition to these rallying cries, the AGM was filled with training and positive reports on GOTV efforts, Study Abroad organisation, fundraising, Residency Based Taxation campaign, training on social media, event training, the forthcoming revamped Vote From Abroad website (hint: it includes a digital signature and automatic email sending!), and reports from all Caucuses. This AGM certainly kept everyone’s attention with training sessions and Caucus reports in between the politics of voting on Resolutions and Charter Amendments.

    On that note, the AGM voted on and passed several resolutions including the campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), campaign for Residency Based Taxation and more. The AGM did not have enough time to complete the full slate of proposed Charter Amendments however those that were discussed were:

    • Providing for leadership diversity based on a more inclusive definition of “sex”: Passed. This allowed for intersex and other classifications of sex or gender that are non-binary. (I would like to add personally how proud I felt to be in this organisation as this was debated extensively between the basis of ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ and how thoroughly differing opinions stated their case in civility and respect to opposing views;
    • 1 Person 1 Vote: Passed. This was debated mainly on period of vote allocation (biennial vote allocation) and concern about vote allocation by Country Committees.

    It is worth noting that the Charter Amendments concerning Vote Allocation, ExCom Expansion, ExCom Diversity and Gender (Sex) Balance unfortunately did not have time to be debated and voted upon.

    Beyond this, I personally took every opportunity to network and meet with Country Committee ExComs and Caucuses to share stories and strategies about how we take our country back. Having personally organised the all-Caucus meet-up on Thursday night before the AGM, it was a great opportunity to meet with DA representatives all over the world.

    An overwhelming theme of the AGM was that it always seems to be that a handful of volunteers shoulder the most work--if you are reading and looking for a way to help, read on.

    One thing is clear, we need to GOTV and make phone calls. I have requested nearly 2 months ago that a phone campaign call list be created for our DAA members who have not yet used VFA to request a ballot. This means that you will, very soon, be able to call other DA Australia members and remind them to vote! Stay tuned, I will be letting members know via email as soon as this is delivered. You may always contact me if you are curious about this and I will be sure to follow up personally.

    Last but not least, the AGM in Japan went off without a hitch. DA Japan is an incredible team and they worked their donkey’s off to make this happen. This volunteer group is an amazing one and wish that our members could meet theirs, I think there would be lasting friendships - I certainly walked away with many.

    This AGM was an overall incredible experience. This is not about the past, it is about the future. It was clear that all of must look forward and be bold, get uncomfortable and challenge ourselves if we indeed are going to get rid of Trump and get rid of the conditions which created him.

    I look forward to the rest of this year and welcome its challenges with hope and resolve.

    In Unity,

    Kent Getsinger
    Chair, DA Australia
    AP Regional Chair, Progressive Caucus of DA

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  • signed up on Hispanic Caucus Signup 2018-05-26 22:52:11 -0400

  • signed up on Youth Caucus 2018-05-26 22:51:51 -0400

    Youth Caucus Signup

    The Youth Caucus of Democrats Abroad is committed to generating awareness of the concerns of young Americans and the challenges they face for the purpose of informing party policy-making and improving party outreach and organizing. The Youth Caucus will provide a platform for young Democrats abroad - those who are and those who seek to become politically active - to engage in and lead on issues and campaigns important to them.

    STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

    The Youth Caucus will be “youth-led” but open to those of all ages who support these central aims.

    The Youth Caucus will/proposes to:

    • Build political engagement by young Americans Democrats abroad. Initiatives will make young Americans abroad aware of:  voter registration and voting from abroad; issue education, advocacy and activism, especially youth-led and youth-related;  candidates and campaigns, especially those of young Democrats;  US political and election organizing from abroad; and overseas and domestic youth networks, contacts and resources.
    • Sponsor issue-focused Working Groups: The Caucus will engage young Democrats abroad in issues advocacy by inviting them to join teams studying particular issues (eg Environmental Sustainability Working Group) and developing and coordinating youth-led advocacy activities and campaigns.
    • Establish web-based communication channels for on-going youth outreach: A Youth Caucus Blog on the Democrats Abroad Youth Caucus webpage will provide continuous access to the work of the Youth Caucus and facilitate participation by members globally.
    • Work online. Membership will not be constrained by physical location. All general meetings, campaigns, fundraisers etc. will be conducted online via Skype, Social Media, Email, and Online Markets.
    • Encourage caucus members to organize live local events and gatherings for political education and outreach, issues advocacy or socializing.
    • Be youth-led, with a leadership team made up of volunteers from around the world aged between 18 and 35.
    • Engage with US-based Young Democrats or College Democrats groups to share information, advice, intelligence and ideas, build networks and to cross-promote each other.
    Sign up

  • signed up on LGBT Signup 2018-05-26 22:49:42 -0400

    LGBT Caucus Signup

    Democrats Abroad is committed to a world where all persons have access to the same rights and benefits, regardless of sexual identity or gender expression.

    STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

    The Democrats Abroad LGBT Caucus is the constituency group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex members and any Democrat abroad who supports them.

    The goals of the LGBT Caucus reflect the mission of Democrats Abroad to:

    • engage and empower LGBTI Americans living abroad to vote in US elections;
    • provide a platform for Democrats Abroad members, country committees and chapters to advance issues at the heart of the LGBTI community;
    • support Democrats Abroad’s members in issues they face living abroad as LGBTI Americans, such as access to government services and benefits for same-sex spouses and family members, the legacy resulting from past discrimination and Defense of Marriage Act.

    The LGBT Caucus: 

    • supports Democrats Abroad’s country committees and local chapters in organizing activities of interest to the LGBTI community, such as participation in pride events and voter outreach; 
    • disseminates information to Democrats Abroad members and promotes action on issues that affect LGBTI Americans and their families;
    • ensures that the LGBTI perspective is effectively incorporated in all the work of Democrats Abroad, including issues advocacy, communication and GOTV strategy, planning and execution; ensures that issues and policies that impact LGBTI Americans are included in the Democrats Abroad and Democratic Party platforms;
    • takes leadership in Democrats Abroad’s issues advocacy initiatives, including “door knock” visits to elected officials in Washington DC, to ensure that issues that impact LGBTI Americans living abroad and their families are included and addressed by elected representatives;
    • encourages LGBTI members to run for elected leadership roles within Democrats Abroad and fulfill Democrats Abroad’s diversity and affirmative action goals;
    • supports community building among Democrats Abroad’s LGBTI members and allies;
    • promotes Democratic Party candidates who demonstrate commitment to policies that positively impact the lives of LGBTI Americans;
    • supports and engages with Democratic Party LGBTI caucuses build capacity and achieve common goals.
    Sign up

  • signed up on Women's Caucus 2018-05-26 22:49:19 -0400

  • signed up on bc_signup 2018-05-26 22:49:01 -0400

  • Australia Chair to attend the Democrats Abroad Annual General Meeting, 25-27 May, Tokyo, Japan!

    I am pleased to say that I will be attending the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Democrats Abroad (Democratic Party Committee Abroad, DPCA) in Tokyo, Japan from Friday 25th May to Sunday, 27th May!

    It is rare that a country within the Asia-Pacific region gets to host the AGM and it is with great pleasure that I will attend and represent Australia in person.

    Here are some of the resolutions and charter amendments I plan to support;

    • the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) resolution promoting women’s rights and legal protection of equity under law,
    • the campaign for Residency-Based Taxation (RBT) as taxation is always an issue affecting the majority of our members,
    • The promotion of fair representation of unpledged (Super) Delegates that they cast their vote in proportional accordance to their State’s popular vote, and
    • Also revising the allocation of votes with DA (DPCA) so that more members can participate in voting at an international DA level

    I welcome any DA Australia member to join this conference via WebEx Teleconferencing, a donation is highly encouraged!

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  • March for Our Lives Australia and Launch of Ask an American to Vote campaign

    This past Saturday, 24 March, members from all over Australia took part in the “March for Our Lives” Solidarity rallies to say “Enough is Enough” and to ask Australians to help spread the word how important it is to tell Americans to vote this year.

    In honour of the 17 people senselessly gunned down at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the US’ most recent mass shooting, high school students all across America marched for their lives this past Saturday, 24 March 2018.

    The March for Our Lives drew sister and solidarity marches from all over the world, including here in Australia. We, as Democrats living in Australia, can no longer continue to enjoy sensible gun laws and access to universal healthcare, while our fellow Americans back home are under constant fire.

    Hyde Park in Sydney’s CBD drew a crowd of nearly 400. At the US Embassy in Canberra and in Brisbane’s CBD, over 50 people attended each. Many gathered outside the US Consulate in Melbourne. In Adelaide, Perth and Hobart, we had conversations with very receptive Australian audiences.

    On Saturday, Democrats Abroad Australia launched it’s 2018 GOTV campaign to Ask an American to Vote - to spread the word about the www.votefromabroad.org website. On the back of this critical issue of gun reform, we asked all Australians to contact an American that they know about voting so that we can expand our visibility for GOTV and Democrats Abroad.

    In total, we handed out several hundred flyers that friends, workmates and acquaintances of Americans took. We will continue this campaign in 2018 to support all events in the State chapters as we push ahead with resolve and conviction knowing that we can take back Congress in 2018 with a Blue Tsunami!

    We must act to change what we cannot accept. We must and will exercise our right to vote and ensure our fellow citizens living abroad do so as well!

    What you can do

    If you’re an American living in Australia or anywhere overseas, request your ballot at votefromabroad.org. Spread the word and tell all your American friends living abroad. You can also become a member at democratsabroad.org/join to connect with Democrats living in your state, city or region. You will be kept up to date with your state’s voter and registration deadlines. Membership is free.

    If you’re an Australian, please tell your American friend, workmate or acquaintance to request their ballot at votefromabroad.org. Spread the word, tag them, and send them the link to our page.

    If you want to be more involved, email us at info-australia@democratsabroad.org

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  • published WELCOME TO DEMOCRATS ABROAD AUSTRALIA! in News 2018-03-24 21:20:13 -0400

    WELCOME TO DEMOCRATS ABROAD AUSTRALIA!

    Democrats Abroad Australia (DAA) is the official country committee for US Democrats living in Australia. Membership is available only to US citizens. Joining Democrats Abroad does not cancel your registration with your home state. Everyone still votes through their home state for the November election.

    We currently have active chapters in New South Wales (Sydney), Victoria (Melbourne), Australian Capital Territory (Canberra), South Australia (Adelaide), Queensland (Brisbane), Perth (Western Australia) and Hobart (Tasmania). Be sure to check out upcoming events in these cities!

    Find out about how to vote from abroad and how you can help Get Out the Vote! Once you have requested your ballot for 2018, we recommend that you share the www.votefromabroad.org website to other Americans or Australians who may know Americans! Everyone is welcome to like our Democrats Abroad Australia Facebook page.

    Kent Getsinger, Chair

    0422 125 870; daauschair@gmail.com

    Democrats Abroad - Australia

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  • signed up on Progressive Caucus Signup 2018-01-29 01:55:17 -0500

  • tagged Kiran Gupta's I never have to worry alone #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-29 10:30:26 -0400

    I never have to worry alone #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I'm an American living in the UK. My story is simple. Whenever a health problem arises - or I start worrying about a strange ache, I don't have to worry. And we all know worrying makes your health worse. I go to the doctor and most of the time, I'm ok. Sometimes I need a blood test. It's all free. I pay for this through my national insurance - and so does everyone in this country. Because we don't pay and indebt ourselves, we go to the doctor at the right time and we prevent conditions from worsening. It makes sense and it's what right. 'Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' - but only if you're rich? America, time to grow up.


  • tagged Charles James' US citizen living in Canada since 1983... #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-24 23:22:17 -0400

    US citizen living in Canada since 1983... #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Health care is never free, someone pays for it. My experience in Canada is everyone pays a little more in taxes so that everyone has coverage. What do I mean by coverage...anyone who needs heart surgery, visits a family doctor, or is referred to a specialist, needs an MRI, or is diagnosed with cancer and needs chemo treatment, or have a stay in a hospital...these are just examples...what you do is present your CardCare that has a number to admissions, they record the necessary data...you have your appointment...that's it...no bill comes in the mail ever! Also, I have complete freedom to choose the doctor I want. This is what I know to be true!


  • tagged Jennie Rosenbaum's Living with a disability in Australia is not a death sentence #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-22 21:25:46 -0400

    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?


  • tagged Joan Dods' The Italian Health Care System Saves Lives #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-22 09:07:12 -0400

    The Italian Health Care System Saves Lives #DAresists #Medicare4all

    In December of 2000, two months before my due date, I had an emergency c-section to deliver my daughter because I had developed HELLP Syndrome. My daughter weighed less than 3 lbs. and required a respirator. We weren't able to bring her home from the hospital until her original due date, 2 months later. Both in the hospital and afterwards, my daughter and I both received excellent care. During follow-up visits it was discovered that my daughter is deaf. She has received speech therapy, hearing aids, and routine hearing tests for the past 17 years. My hospitalization, surgery and follow-up care entailed zero out-of-pocket costs, as did my daughter's care. We have contributed to the cost of more sophisticated hearing aids, but medical exams, speech therapy and tutors have been without charge. Another important aspect of this system is the emphasis on preventative medicine and early diagnostics. Two years ago during a routine exam my doctor found a suspicious mole on my back. It was removed, and turned out to be melanoma, caught in the early stages. Had I been unable to afford the original doctor's visit, or the follow-up surgery and treatment, it might have grown and spread, eventually resulting in much more expensive and invasive procedures, or even killing me. When I talk about the health care system here I don't say 'free' because we pay taxes and thus our money goes into the system that provided for these competely unexpected events, and for our other health needs, as well as those of everyone else in Italy, where we live. I am grateful every day to Italy and its National Health Service, and I only wish to see the friends and family I still have in America benefit from a similiar level of truly affordable, life-saving care.


  • Medicare for All: No Worries from Down Under #DAresists #Medicare4all

    After 6 and a half years in Australia, I cannot imagine going back to the US system of healthcare. Although there is optional private insurance Down Under, everyone is covered under the federal Medicare scheme where the burden of monthly healthcare costs are non-existent. I have only had a minor scare involving several x-rays and a CT scan, of which was completely levied in taxes - speaking of, that are no different to what I was paying in US on a comparable salary. When my daughter was born, the largest bill paid for the entire birth was a $ 36.00 per day for the underground parking. It is unthinkable now to imagine paying for what should be a fundamental human right, guaranteed and accessible to all citizens regardless of income, situation or pre-existing health condition. While it isn't perfect here, it is vastly better than the US system where the majority of people are placed under enormous stress to afford their health coverage. I urge the US to adopt a Medicare-for-All model similar to Australia.


  • tagged Mickey Farrance's It took care of me, but it's not just about me #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-22 08:40:32 -0400

    It took care of me, but it's not just about me #DAresists #Medicare4all

    After a motorcycle fall and a subsequent biking accident, my right ACL ligament just snapped. Of course to confirm that this was in fact the reason I could no longer climb stairs, lift my leg high enough to get into the shower, or get into and out of a car, I needed several doctor's appointments and an MRI - after the emergency room visit. Which provided crutches and a support bandage. After the diagnosis, surgery. After the surgery, stitch removal and physical therapy. Now I have two fully functioning knees and am only about $200 poorer. I pay reasonable income taxes in France every year and I have absolutely no problem with our securité sociale (healthcare system) taking care of everyone who needs it. How can we have a healthy society without healthy people?