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.

  • 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 have your appointment...that's 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?

  • tagged I Owe My Life to Socialized Medicine #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-22 08:43:22 -0400

    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)

  • tagged Julie Hansen's Universal health care in Sweden saved my son’s life #DAresists #Medicare4all with approved 2017-09-22 06:58:44 -0400

    Universal health care in Sweden saved my son’s life #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I moved to Sweden for family reasons years ago, and both my children were born there. I’m grateful to the Swedish health care system for giving them the best possible start in life, including prenatal care and obstetrics, regular pediatric check-ups and occasional visits to the emergency room. No health care system is perfect, and doctors’ waiting rooms in Sweden are not as luxurious as in some in the US, but we’ve always received excellent medical care. This is especially apparent in the extensive medical treatment necessary for one of my children, who due to a congenital deformity suffered from life-threatening kidney infections early in life. Many of us hope that we can avoid sickness and injury by leading a healthy and responsible life, but sometimes bad things happen anyway. It was terrifying for us as parents to find ourselves in the neonatal intensive care unit with a three-week-old baby in critical condition. But through our fear and grief, we could see that no resources were being spared for our son. In fact, costs and insurance were never an issue (there wasn’t any paperwork to fill out) because in Sweden medical care is free of cost for all children up to the age of 18. After several more hospital stays and surgeries, our son recovered. Throughout this experience, I was constantly impressed by the fact that not only my son, but every single child in Sweden receives the same high level of care, regardless of their parents’ circumstances. Swedes recognize that children are society’s future, and that children deserve society’s support. As a result of treatment by medical specialists in Sweden, my son, now a young teenager, is in full health and thriving. The doctors call him in for regular check-ups, and tell us that, though they do not expect him to have more problems, they will continue to monitor him throughout his life, just to be on the safe side. One day my son may want to move to his other home country – the United States – and if so, I hope he will not be denied insurance because of this pre-existing condition. Most of all, I hope that American society will do better by all its children and provide them and their parents universal health care. It’s the only compassionate thing to do.

  • published Support Medicare For All! in Healthcare Stories 2017-09-17 03:16:59 -0400

    Support Medicare For All!

    Official response from completed

  • Join Democrats Abroad Australia in support for Universal Healthcare


    Universal Healthcare: a.k.a Guaranteed Healthcare, Medicare for All, Single-Payer

    No matter what you call it, the time is now for universal healthcare. Given the recent attacks on healthcare and threats of repeal towards ACA (“Obamacare”), Democrats need a firm stance to show support for those who need it most.

    The cost of healthcare in the United States is the biggest cause of poverty and financial and psychological strain on Americans - especially among minority communities and low income families. Many other countries ensure universal healthcare as a fundamental human right.

    Democrats Abroad Australia surveyed its members in 2017 and found that affordable and universal healthcare was by far the biggest priority. In Australia, and many other developed countries, everyone can rely on public and accessible without thought or concern of how it will affect them financially.

    You spoke and now it’s time for action.

    First: Show your support.

    Download the A4 selfie sign, fill out why you think universal healthcare is important, take a selfie. Share it on your social networks, make it your profile pic! Email it to us!

    Please use the hashtag #DA4UHC when sharing!

    Second: Tell your story.

    What unique experience have you have from living abroad that you could tell fellow Americans back home? What experience have you had from a country with free access to healthcare? How have you benefited? Are you a healthcare refugee? Could you be such in future? What would like to tell your lawmaker right now about healthcare? Your voice matters, and will only matter if you use it.

    We want to hear your story, please send it to: and then, please e-mail your Representative and Senator!

    Third: Spread the word, encourage others to join

    Democrats Abroad Australia will take this campaign to the 2018 DA AGM where we will pass a resolution for Democrats Abroad international in support of universal healthcare (aka Guaranteed Healthcare, Single-payer or Medicare4All). Although Democrats Abroad favors the position of single-payer, we will propose a clear and unequivocal support for true universal healthcare, with intent to take to DNC. The more members we have involved, the more successful this campaign will be!

    Your voice matters. Your story matters. Be part of the campaign “I Heart Universal Healthcare” and oppose the disastrous attacks on healthcare by joining us in this effort.


  • published Lots happening in June! in News 2017-06-08 03:55:24 -0400

    Lots happening in June!

    There’s quite a lot going on back home and we wanted to make sure you have all the info!

    Below you’ll find some information for GOTV for Special Elections and the Residency-Based Taxation Campaign.


    Special Elections - happening this month!

    If you haven’t heard of what is now a trend, the GOP is facing formidable challenges in States they thought locked up - namely Kansas and Montana where fellow Dems were very close to winning these deep red states.

    While this bodes well for us, we want to make sure you know all about what’s on for the immediate future. You can find a full list of the Special Elections in 2017 here.

    Specifically, up this month is:

    20 June - Georgia Special Election Runoff Democrat Jon Ossoff is running for the 6th Congressional District

    Please do refer to the full list of 2017 Special Elections to make sure you meet the voting Deadlines!


    Residency-Based Taxation Campaign - Call Storm on 15th June!

    Have a read through the main RBT Democrats Abroad post as contains information as to what the campaign is and why it matters to all citizens living abroad. Also see the Residency Based Taxation Campaign in a Box pdf for details. There is also a Facebook event here.

    Democrats Abroad is having an international Call Storm on 15th June - the tax deadline for international filers - where you can pick up the phone to your Representatives and Senators to ask for their support for Residency Based Taxation.

    Thursday 15 June is of course US time and inconvenient for us. That 9 to 5 day translates to 11:00pm Thursday, 15th June to 7:00am Friday, 16th June (AEST: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart time).

    If you can make any calls - late or early during the above times, Call Storms only work if a massive number of calls are generated, literally disrupting the day.  We need your help to storm Capitol Hill on June 15th.

    Look for an inexpensive or free calling utility and starting calling home today!


  • donated 2017-05-07 22:18:26 -0400

  • signed up on Join 2016-03-01 17:09:52 -0500