I Owe My Life to Socialized Medicine #DAresists #Medicare4all

In 2011, I moved to Rome, Italy, to finish my Bachelor's degree. I have since remained in the country with my Italian partner. Over the past six years, I’ve had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to live in a country that considers health care to be a fundamental right to all its citizens and legal residents. Thanks to Italy’s National Healthcare System, visits to my general practitioner and the emergency room cost nothing, trips to the pharmacy don’t require insurance coverage and never empty my wallet or bank account, and going to specialists and getting lab tests are either free or cost a small fraction of what they do in the US. But my gratitude goes far beyond these standard health care services. In fact, I owe my life to socialized medicine. In 2012, I was diagnosed with HIV. Living with this disease has been a struggle and has undoubtedly changed my life, but never at any point have I had to worry about how to pay for expensive antiretroviral (ARV) treatment. My life-saving medication and periodic check-ups at the hospital are guaranteed to me as a human right! Being a full-time student at the time of diagnosis, I don't know what I would have done if this had happened to me while living in the United States. Perhaps I would have been obliged to abandon my studies and find a job to pay for treatment. One of my greatest hesitations about moving back to the United States is my fear of not being able to afford ARV treatment or the periodic blood analyses I receive here in Italy. Common arguments against public health care systems like that of Italy are that they increase taxes unnecessarily or that the quality of such health care is poor, but I can tell you from first-hand experience that this is not true. Yes, there are issues, such as long waiting periods for specialists or occasional frustrations with bureaucracy, but the benefits far outweigh these costs. What’s more, I can always opt for a private hospital or doctor if I so choose. It's time for the United States join the vast majority of high-income countries in the world by providing truly universal healthcare through a single-payer system. (Note: Posted by Moderator, Anonymous Author)