I showed up in the UK on a Friday. Owing to the fact that Europe is the birthplace of the black death, the following Thursday I got sick. I got really sick. Like 104 degree fever shaking uncontrollably for hours sick. Like, better go to a hospital sick. As we all know Britain has a National Health Service, and as we also all know it's a hellish nightmare of bureaucracy and care-rationing that produces sub-standard results after long delays. Except that's complete BS. I hadn't even been in the country for a week before I needed the NHS. I didn't have a National Insurance Number yet, I didn't have my supplemental insurance through my employer set up, I was just some random foreigner coming in off the street saying "I don't feel good" and hoping for the best. It started with a phone call to a 24 hour number set up as a sort of remote triage. Report your symptoms, get some suggestions from a trained nurse. In my case they said "yikes, you need to see a doctor right away. Your nearest GP is just a few blocks away. All you need is your passport and they'll get you set up." At least I think they said that. My ability to understand Scottish was pretty terrible for the first 6 months we lived here. Anyway, I showed up with nothing but a passport and a fever and sure enough, within 2 hours I had been seen by a doctor, prescribed medication, had my prescription filled, and took my first round of antibiotics all for a grand total of zero dollars. Zero. I did not pay a single cent. Or pence. Whatever. "But you did pay, in the form of taxes" to which my response is, our effective tax rate is almost identical here to what it was back home. Like, within 2%. And because my wife and I both have complicated medical histories (she had cancer and I had renal failure, both in our teens) our cost of living is actually dramatically lower than back home since we're not paying outrageous sums of money for healthcare. I don't understand why so many Americans accept as canon that Single Payer is a byword for bureaucratic dysfunction. The reality is that the NHS, though undoubtedly bureaucratic, is an absolute marvel. We could have this. We could also live in country where sick people visit a doctor and get better because of course they do. Single-payer is legit, you guys. The NHS is the real deal. And remember, the NHS is carrying around a half century of accumulated legislative baggage, not to mention complications from devolution and EU membership. If America set up its own single-payer system we could do an even more amazing job. This is the great fight of our time. Health care is a right. And anyone who tries to reduce this argument to some weird take about "so you're going to enslave doctors?" is a dishonest jerk. Ask doctors in the UK if they're slaves. Ask doctors in Canada, or Australia, or France, or Sweden. Anyone who tries to make any argument involving the words "free market" is either a complete moron, or else they're lying to you because they think you are. Health care is your right as a human being. America is smart enough, wealthy enough, and compassionate enough to figure out a way to guarantee that right for all our citizens.
#RightToHealthcare #DAresists #Medicare4all
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