Vice Chair Denmark

I support Democrats Abroad because I believe the Democratic Party is the party in the United States that best represents my values and commitment to social justice and equal rights and respect for all.

  • The experience of a North Carolinian living in Australia #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I’m a NC voter living in Australia and working for Bupa, a UK-based health insurer and care partner. Long before I had up-close experience with a functioning healthcare system and a private insurer who genuinely cares for its customers, I grew up in rural North Carolina with a chronically ill mother. Suffering from Lupus, cancer, and a wide range of related issues, my mom was often in and out of the hospital. Despite working gruelling hours, my dad always found it difficult to make ends meet. Any child who grew up with a seriously ill parent knows all too well the anguish of seeing a loved one in pain, the pitying head pats from Sunday school teachers, and the stomach-dropping discovery that someone you care about had to be rushed to the ER again. My time abroad has taught me that many Australians can commiserate with experiences like these. But most can’t understand the constant battle my parents waged just to make sure my mom could have health insurance. With so many pre-existing problems, it was always hard for my mom to secure a plan that could account for her many needs. The ramifications of poor health are acute enough; children don’t need to overhear their parents crying because they aren’t sure how to pay their medical bills. Thank goodness most Australians already understand this. While no system is perfect, Australia’s public/private hybrid allows consumers extra choice and extra comforts if they can afford them, while supplying basic care for those who can’t. This likely contributes to the comparable cleanliness, safety, and overall better quality of life that Australians tend to enjoy. President Obama took on great political risk to try and fix our own broken system. He did this by selecting a bipartisan compromise: a market-based solution that originated from the Heritage Foundation. While the ACA is definitely flawed, I know that it helped other little girls avoid at least some of the pain I felt. I am repulsed by the moral failure of politicians who have decided that cynical machinations are more pressing than fixing the ACA’s flaws. Their disregard for American lives is alarming. Other countries have recognised that investing in their citizens’ well-being pays dividends; I pray that one day America will wake up to the value of a similar investment. Kind regards, Shanna Hall

  • posted about Many experiences in France #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 06:27:23 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: Many experiences in France #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Many experiences in France #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Aside from the usual and thankfully banal problems of bearing and raising three children, I can report on fairly major issues. NB: I also have a “mutuelle”—a collective non-profit complementary health arrangement that costs approx. €2000 a year and covers the 30% French social security doesn’t pay in some cases. Except in the last, worst item below I don’t remember which paid what. --A hard fall on cement the night before I was supposed to lecture in Oxford resulted in a hip replacement and hospitalisation for almost two weeks [Radcliffe Hospital] plus special transport arrangements home to Paris. French social security and probably the mutuelle reimbursed costs to the Brits. --Three fractured vertebrae and three “vertebroplasties” in which they inject resin cement: cost zero --Worst: in late 1999 my husband was diagnosed with a fairly rare form of cancer : He died a year and a half later after two operations, one very long and risky, intensive care, a whole variety of convalescent measures at home or in hospital, daily nursing visits when at home and, a particular blessing in the circumstances, he was able to spend the last two weeks of his life surrounded by his family at home, in a hospital bed with perfusion and three times daily visits from a nurse as well as regular ones from our family doctor. He could self-administer doses of morphine as needed and we were all with him when he died. Cost for us: Zero, entirely paid by French social security since he had a recognised “serious illness”. I sometimes tell this story now in talks to encourage the French and other Europeans to fight for all our public services, explaining to them we would have had to sell the house if we had lived in the United States. Since I have mentioned giving talks, it may be worth adding that after Smith College junior year abroad where I met and later married my French husband and living in France, I was able to win two higher degrees, a “licence” in philosophy, equivalent to a US master’s degree and allowing Immediate entry to the doctorate. Ten years later I got my PhD with honours in political science from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences sociales, a quite prestigious part of the French university graduate schools system. Cost—about $150/year in today’s dollars for inscription and insurance fees. Comment: Totally impossible for me cost-wise had I lived in the US. With 17 books and innumerable talks, articles and interviews for various social / ecological/ political causes since, mostly without fee, I feel I have “given back”, as Americans like to say. Note: My four grandchildren have now graduated from a variety of excellent, highly recognised schools [except for some at masters’ level with modest tuition fees] in several disciplines and—barring global warming disaster—are set for life. Long live Bernie Sanders!

  • posted about 15 Years of Great Coverage in the UK #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 06:26:49 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: 15 Years of Great Coverage in the UK #DAresists #Medicare4all

    15 Years of Great Coverage in the UK #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Dear Julia, I am a US citizen who is living in London because my husband of nearly 14 years is British. A very persuasive argument for convincing me to move back to London was the NHS. We met while I was teaching in France on a Fulbright Exchange and lived in London after marrying, which is how I learned how much better life is with universal healthcare. Although I talked my husband into living in the US with me, we found our health insurance payments were overwhelming--approaching the cost of our mortgage, although the standard of care was not better than the care we received when living in London. We knew how great the NHS is, and appreciated the excellent care we received when my husband was hospitalized for pneumonia for 17 days treatment at Kingston Hospital here in the U.K. As I looked at retirement and the end of my employer sponsored insurance, the cost of and quality of healthcare was daunting, so we returned to London. I have many friends who have expressed envy at my choice. I cannot accept the heartless sacrifice of lives in the USA that is required to fund the profits of the healthcare and insurance industries. My own two daughters from a previous marriage struggled to find any healthcare after they grew too old to be covered by my plan. In their twenties, neither was able to find an employer who offered health insurance or an affordable plan until the ACA was passed. As a result of this healthcare, each daughter was able to receive treatment for problems that had worsened for lack of treatment. I worry about how they will suffer if the Republicans are able to repeal the ACA. When I look at the healthcare available to so many countries, I am distraught that my daughters, and now my grandson, will face lifelong struggles to remain healthy as well as possible bankruptcy and financial ruin just because we are all Americans, born in the richest, most powerful nation on Earth but seen as nothing but consumers. I hope my thoughts on this life-or-death issue are of some assistance in any appeal you can make to our legislators. I have called and emailed my home state's senators to thank them for fighting each of the continual attacks on the ACA, and have contacted through phone calls and postcards other senators to ask them to reject the Cassidy-Graham bill. Kind regards, Debra Daniels

  • posted about Great experience in Ireland #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 06:21:44 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: Great experience in Ireland #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Great experience in Ireland #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I live in Ireland and have access to low-cost universal universal healthcare. Ireland is a little different as we are on a two-tiered system - public and private - and the public option isn't free (unless you have a medical card) but it is very cheap. If I go to the doctor, it cost me €50. If my doctor refers me to a specialist on the public option, it is free. Same for emergency room. I once had to go to the emergency room and have X-rays - that cost me only €60 total. We also have a prescription scheme here that caps the amount you pay for prescriptions at a certain amount each month. Once you hit that amount, if you need to fill more prescriptions within that month, you don't have to pay for them. This is useful for expensive birth control and other types of medication. I hope this helps! Hilary Gray

  • posted about Great experience in UK #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 06:17:30 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: Great experience in UK #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Great experience in UK #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I have a history of very early preterm labor. With an injection from 16 to 36 weeks, that risk of early labor and premature birth is minimized. When I was in the US a few years ago, this drug cost $1,500 per shot (so $30,000, before insurance). It was a big deal for me to find insurance that would cover it, and it involved possibly moving states--in the middle of a high-risk pregnancy. The same drug here in Ireland...I walked out of the pharmacy with all 20 doses for about $80. This drug helped me reach full term for two pregnancies. I hate to think about the parents in the US facing another NICU stay or loss of a child because this drug is prohibitively expensive. (It used to cost $10/dose in the US before the drug company hiked the price a few years ago.)

  • posted about Great experience in U.K. #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 06:15:46 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: Great experience in U.K. #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Great experience in U.K. #DAresists #Medicare4all

    When I lived in the US, I had medical care until I was 21 because my parents were working for the US military. After that, I had no medical coverage whatsoever until I managed to get a job with a company that was in an HMO network. Even then, I didn't want to see a doctor because of the co-pay and luckily I never had to go to the emergency room. Now, in the UK, I don't have to worry how much a doctor's visit will cost me. I can feel free to speak to a doctor about a mild pain I've had for years, or for a very bad migraine or illness. No, it's not perfect, but it's far better than what most people in the US have to deal with. Horror stories of people killing themselves because of medical bills don't exist in the UK. Cancer patients and car crash victims don't have huge bills that debilitate them for decades after surviving. Universal healthcare works!

  • posted about Great experience from New Zealand #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 06:12:16 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: Great experience from New Zealand #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Great experience from New Zealand #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Last year I tore my ACL skiing in New Zealand while there on a working holiday visa. After a trip to the physio I learned about ACC; a program that provides healthcare coverage to everyone within the boundaries of New Zealand if they are injured in any type of accident. At the time I was 25 and had just lost my American health insurance the month prior when my dad lost his job. So my options were to stay in NZ and have knee surgery done without having to pay anything out of pocket, or return to America for surgery and be in debt thousands of dollars. As a recent graduate I was not too keen on adding medical debt on top of my student loans. I was due to leave New Zealand in 10 days and had no intentions of staying but obviously I had to for the surgery. It took me a while to get over how insane it was that I couldn't return to my OWN COUNTRY to have surgery where I'd have my family to take care of me. Lucky for me I had an incredibly generous group of Kiwis who got me through this difficult situation, both physically and emotionally. -Kaylyn Hobelman

  • posted about An experience from Mexico #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 06:08:32 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: An experience from Mexico #DAresists #Medicare4all

    An experience from Mexico #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I had colon cancer surgery in Sept. 2012 and 6 days released from the hospital with a staffed infection in my left arm which was twice as my right and I lost 12lbs in my eight day stay.My Medicare paid and Blue cross/ bule Sheild paid.In 2015 I had a heart attack while in Mexico and the surgeon installed stilt on 9/2015 and my insurance paid the hospital.Three mouths later. I had my right kidney removed with a 2.5 cm cancerous tumor. It took two years to settle with the insurance company and the dollar exchange changed by a loss of 1200.00 usd.which I lost because of stupidity on the insurance company.Then two weeks I get a letter needing more info for the same claim. The company has to many hands on claims at different locations and the brain power is lost.

  • posted about Universal Coverage Works in Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 06:03:21 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: Universal Coverage Works in Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Universal Coverage Works in Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all

    The purpose of Canada’s universal health care system is to provide ALL residents with equal access to quality medical care. I’ve had a few episodes requiring major surgery and had quick access to all the services I needed. The universal system also provides constant ease-of-mind; we know we have the medical coverage we need.

  • posted about A comparative perspective from the U.K. #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 06:00:35 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: A comparative perspective from the U.K. #DAresists #Medicare4all

    A comparative perspective from the U.K. #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I want to take some time to talk about usual discussions comparing different healthcare systems: Most comparisons in the US are between the US system and nationalized systems (in Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, Sweden, France...etc); often times such comparisons talk about waiting times of elective procedures. (1) Talking about Elective Procedures is the wrong measure/yardstick! Just because a country has a national healthcare system does not mean it has no private healthcare -- all the countries (Canada, UK, Germany, France..) have private healthcare and citizens can choose to have private in addition to their nationalized systems (talk about CHOICE). (2) Talking about waiting times for procedures (elective or non) is also the wrong yardstick: Waiting times in nationalized systems are related to the amount of funding (or lack thereof) in the system; in the UK, funding cuts in the last several years have led to increased waiting times -- if cuts did not happen (especially in highly populated areas), wait times would not have increased. Same as MN having better bridges if the capital spend had been approved. (3) Competition reduces costs and improves products/services: While competition is good in general, it is better to reserve the competition for more complex/elective needs while offering a universal healthcare for at least the basic health services (level to be defined). This way, one can have the benefits of competition AND have the citizenry access basic healthcare. Current not-for-profit hospitals are not a low cost delivery method of healthcare, certainly not basic care. Not-for-profit hospitals employ large finance teams, issue and refinance bonds almost annually, hoard billions of dollars of cash reserves (2x level of debt) in order to get favorable Moodys and S&P credit ratings so they can issue bonds, therefore hire other finance teams and asset managers and consultants to manage those cash reserves, etc -- in essence everything but "basic and essential care". All these points have something in common -- dialogues in US comparing the systems appear to be all-or-nothing-at-all (black-or-white) while there are several shades of grey (I have heard the number 50 thrown around). It does not need to be only-private or only-national. Let us get our American can-do attitude and solve this elegantly. US systems in general appear to be very complicated (128% of Federal poverty level -- who comes up with numbers and tables like that) and complexity adds costs to any system. Just as the Government is trying to simplify and overhaul our tax system, we should also consider removing complexity from our healthcare system.

  • posted about More than 40 years of coverage in Spain #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 05:58:31 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: More than 40 years of coverage in Spain #DAresists #Medicare4all

    More than 40 years of coverage in Spain #DAresists #Medicare4all

    My name is Kate Seley and I was married to a Spanish national who passed away on January 20 2017 - doubly horrible day for me. I have lived in Spain for over 40 years and have 3 adult children who I gave birth to here with the national health care system with a minimum of pain and maximum of joy and supportive care. I want to clarify that in European countries with a National Health Care Service, it is NOT considered "socialized medicine". Conservative PM's or presidents, i.e., Cameron in the UK, Sarkozy in France and Rajoy here in Spain have never thought of repealing and replacing. They may increase copayments a bit as they're more austerity- oriented but that's it. It's too popular and they don't see it as it socialism! The GOP seems unique. To return to my family's and my own experience: In this long period we have all been in national health care hospital, my daughter for a bad case of salmonella over 20 years ago and my younger son for a complicated broken wrist and leg.. I myself have undergone a lumpectomy and a titanium bar implant to repair broken humerus, both with with totally satisfactory results. But perhaps the most dramatic case is my husband's. He eventually passed away but he had 4 different types types of cancer -prostate, bone colon and throat as well as chronic congestive heart failure. They managed to defeat the odds and keep him alive almost 4 years, during which he received excellent and sensitive supporting care. Sometimes, during the final year, I used to think that he preferred staying at the public health hospital to being at home cause he felt more secure there. There are no limited visiting hours anda loved one can sleep there in an armchair that opens up into a bed, rather like 1st class airlines seats.. On some floors, you could actually feel positive vibes.. The cancer facilities and especially the Coronary intensive care unit are very state of the art. The Gps in the local clinics or "ambulatorios" are in general competent and caring and medication has only a relatively small copay.

  • posted about A perspective from Ecuador #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 05:52:49 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: A perspective from Ecuador #DAresists #Medicare4all

    A perspective from Ecuador #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Yes we have universal health care here in Ecuador and even the poorest is received at either the public hospital and health care system. In addition there is the Ecuadorian Social Security System (IESS) for those who voluntarily subscribe or those subscribed through their employers. On paper it is great - until you have to use the system! Although there is some level of care for everyone there are serious problems too! There are shortages of doctors, nurses and administrative staff and since there is a parallel system of lucrative private hospitals and doctors operating private clinics, the good, well trained medical and laboratory personnel tend to migrate to these private institutions in the major cities like Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, leaving smaller and rural areas without good private care nor with decent government operated facilities. So while I applaud a government run health care system providing services for ALL, all the time, without a parallel private system, it needs to be universal, efficient, employing the best medical and administrative people. Will this be possible? Look at the Veterans Administration for an answer to this question! So if we can't run the veteran's administration correctly, how will we do it for the entire nation? So it is not so simple, requires a lot of planning, mammoth resources, a steady supply of well trained medical and administrative personnel and huge outlays for hospitals and related medical infrastructure, unless we simply nationalize existing private facilities and convert them into government institutions. The transition from what we have today to a public system will be a complicated and difficult task. Good luck. Robert Flick

  • posted about Suggestion from Panama #DAresists #Medicare4all on Facebook 2017-10-07 05:49:22 -0400
    Healthcare Stories: Suggestion from Panama #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Suggestion from Panama #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I am a dual citizen, born in Panama to American parents, so I qualify for Panama's public health care system. My late brother, who was born in the USA, was living in Panama as a non-citizen and when he came down with liver disease he had to return to the USA to be treated. He was dying and would have preferred to die in Panama. Those last six months in the USA cost Uncle Sam a LOT of money. Had there been a Medicare arrangement with Panama's public health system (the rapacious private hospitals are another matter), the US government could have paid the cost in Panama plus a mark-up and still saved a lot of money. So as the Medicare for All proposal gestates and progresses, will you consider coverage to Americans living abroad, for treatment abroad? Eric Jackson

  • Emergency lifesaving treatment as a student in Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all

    When I was 18 during my freshman year at UofT, I started to have really strong, constant stomach pain and vomiting. It was really frightening, and for two days the doctors didn't know what was wrong with me as it worsened and worsened. It turned out my appendix had exploded, but because they couldn't see my appendix on their instruments they hadn't known what was wrong. I spent a week in hospital, had life-saving surgery, and was readmitted once when there was residual infection from the pus that had filled my abdomen. And even outside of the in-hospital procedures, there was one post-surgery medication that cost almost $1000 per bottle; if I lived in the United States, I would have had to pay for that out of pocket. And I couldn't have paid for it out of pocket. If I didn't live in Canada, I might not have been able to afford to be alive. And my whole extended family is full of stories of life-threatening situations that are treated simply and at no cost; from cancer and thyroid problems, to autoimmune diseases and mental illness. As a dual citizen of both Canada and the US, I can really see the difference between the two countries. Ill health comes for everyone, and a country that takes care of its people is one that provides health care for all. I would like my American family to be cared for just like I am here. Love, Miranda Alksnis

  • More than 20 years of satisfying coverage in Canada! #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I have lived in the UK since 1995. I’ve had 2 children here. They’re both fully vaccinated. My husband and daughter have both had emergency appendectomies. Both children have had braces. I’ve broken a tooth. My daughter has worn glasses for ten years. We’ve had a run-in with Lyme disease. I’ve had cervical cysts removed twice. The list goes on and on. My maternity care included pre-natal classes and follow-up visits after the children were born; my 8-year-old daughter’s appendectomy included a place for me to stay with her in the hospital for most of a week. The care we’ve received has been first rate. I can get an appointment on the same day for non-emergency care. Yes, I pay for this service in my taxes. No, it is not an unreasonable cost. I can visit any country in the European Union and expect the same level of care there. For all the flaws in the system, it is a fantastic system. I am privileged to be covered by it and extremely grateful. My husband, daughter and son have all LITERALLY had their lives saved by the NHS: I would be a childless widow without their expertise. And there has never been a bill for any of it. I am self-employed. As I approach retirement age, I have to face the hard reality that I will never be able to move back to the United States because I will not be able to afford the health care. Please, please help fix this broken system for all the generations to come. Elizabeth Gatland

  • An holistic, comparative perspective from Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all

    As a Canadian born US citizen who has spent time living and working in Europe I can comment from experience on life under four different systems -- one universal single payer (Canada), two universal multi payer (Holland and the UK) and on non-universal (USA). I would say, and international studies agree, that the universal multi payer option systems far out perform the others. Canada consistently ranks second last, and the USA last in rankings of healthcare outcomes in advanced nations and it's time we both stopped using each other as "the alternative" and looked further afield. Both our systems ration availibility, either through resource scarcity as a cost management measure or by effectively denying coverage to a large portion of the population. The universal coverage mixed payer systems offer both choice broad access. The NHS co-exists with private, at cost system and the Dutch systems mandates that all residents have coverage either through the government system or private coverage. Both operate as a smaller percentage of GNP than Canada's 12% or the US's 16% and deliver broader coverage. That said, let's review the Canadian health care journey to single-payer to make sure we understand it's evolution and current reality: 1) It is NOT a national system, it's a network of Provincial (State) systems that adher to certain national standards -- primarily -- universality, portability and (it's achilies heel) no additional patient fees -- in exchange for BLOCK GRANTS from the Federal level. (Constitutionally health Care is a Provincial, not a Federal responsibility) Most of the funding comes from the Provincial not Federal level (it's the largest Provincial budget item for most) and the decision on coverage is made Provincially not nationally. About 70% of all healthcare costs are government funded, the rest from private citizens directly or through insurance (I believe in US about 60% already government funded) 2) Costs are a major issue to provinces and smaller ones already require extra federal funding. Aging populations risk bankrupting the system unless costs are curtailed (governments are already fighting Drs over salary levels) or the obsession with a "one tier" program with no private coverage options and no co-payment is eliminated. 3) It took nearly 50 years to get to it's current state: - it was first introduced in Albert in the 1935 but scrapped the next year with a change in government (sound familiar?). It was introduced in 1936 in BC but pulled over opposition by Drs. - it was first successfully introduced in Saskatchewan in 1947 but not federally funded until 1957 and by 1961 all provinces had a program similar to Medicare Part A. - in 1962 Saskatchewan introduced the equivilant of Medicare Part B and there was a bitter strike by physicians. - but by 1966 federal funds were made available physician cost as well. Almost 2 decades of turmoil followed with issue like Drs. leaving the country, opting out of the program and billing privately or extra-billing in the system. - in 1984 the current "universal single payer system" was introduced. 4) Despite all the above, the difference between my aging Canadian friends, and my aging US friends, all of whom are getting new knees or a stent or managing diabetes is that the Canadians all have the peace of mind to know where and how they will get the treatment they need. Whether measured in longer lifespans or lower infant mortality rates, or just the minimization of iatrogenic bankruptcy, there is a measurable quality of life increment from universal access. So it's worth the battle. But it's a long complex road so here are some insights from the Canadian experience: - it's an incremental evolution, not a massive one shot reshaping of "one sixth of the economy" - focus has to be on addressing costs not just on "insurance" and access - long term sustainability means exploiting both government and private funding options - and the scale and complexity mean it needs to be State focused within national guidelines (which is why lthe current loss of Democratic stature at a State level is so dangerous) While the ACA was not perfect, I saw it as an important first step on the journey. Constant revision from the ACA core is the right way to go and setting the expectation that it's is a work in progress not the end in itself Loosing issue leadership to Bernie Saunders with an out of left field, scarey-to-many "single payer proposal" is a dangerous step backwards when, when the PR is spinning right, the voter middle ground is quite comfortable with an evolutionary ACA. While the GOP flounders with repeal and replace, the crime is that an active viable ACA v2 hasn't been visiably championed by party leadership. My two cents worth, Robert Thompson

  • Great coverage for a pre-existing condition in Canada! #DAresists #Medicare4all

    Hi, there. I just thought I would offer my experience using the Universal Healthcare system in Canada. At about the time I moved to Canada, I was diagnosed with Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder (MCTD)---while still living in Atlanta., Georgia I remember anxiously waiting while the insurance company approved the tests my doctor said I required as well as the medications to relieve my pain. When I moved to Canada, I had not signed up for the Medical Services Plan (MSP) ($!08/month for my entire family), so I had to get some meds and tests and pay out of pocket. I was stunned at how much less the same treatments costs in Canada! After signing on to the MSP, all of my healthcare needs are covered, with the exception of prescriptions--although there is a Pharmacare system that adjusts the cost of prescriptions according to your income. I have been in Canada now for 15 years and love how my doctor can order a test and it is done. I don't have to wait for procedures, with the exception of surgeries. The surgery wait times are always being addressed and improved. The queue is organized in a triage-like fashion. If I have a life threatening situation, I am in surgery immediately and others are bumped. I don't mind being bumped because the other person is helped and the system is providing high-quality care in a timely fashion, based on patient need. As I understand it, many physicians left Canada when the country first changed to universal healthcare amid cries of Canada becoming a socialist or communist state....the usual epithets hurled when folks get nervous about a change. I can honestly tell you that I wouldn't want any other kind of healthcare and, returning to the US would make me quite nervous in terms of what would be covered and approved by folks sitting at a computer with a checklist rather than the doctor who knows my personal situation. My MCTD morphed into Rheumatoid Arthritis, as it often can. It is a very serious condition that requires close monitoring, which I get from a specialist, just as I would in America--only I am referred and it happens....No one can tell me I can't have a procedure done. My doctors and I are in charge of my healthcare decisions, not profit-making businesses. With this focus on healthcare, I find that my doctors give me extraordinary amounts of consultation time. Patients get 15 minutes with a doctor here. FIFTEEN MINUTES! I was lucky to even see the doctor in the States and if I did, it would only be for about 3 minutes. Please don't believe the fear-mongering of folks that stand to profit from continuing the American healthcare system the way it has been done. Singe-payer is the way to go. Cheers, Jack Dr. J. Lucius Edwards Victoria Conservatory of Music

  • Lifesaving cancer treatment in Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all

    My husband, Leonard Kosiec, was diagnosed with esophagus cancer in October of 2011. He was admitted to the Foot Hills hospital in Calgary in December, 2011 and had his esophagus removed. The Canadian system was timely and the doctors and other health professionals excellent. In March of 2012, he was admitted to the Kelowna Cancer Centre for chemo and radiation. There he received both excellent personal and professional treatment. We were hopeful that he had made a full recovery. However, in October of 2012, there was signs that the caner was returning. From this time until he passed away in December of 2012, the Canadian system gave him excellent attention and care both with local doctors and at the hospital. We had not doubt but what he had the best research and care available. During this time, we had no personal medical expenses. This would not have happened in the United States. We would have lost our home and been in heavy debt. The Canadian system works in an efficient and ethical manner. The United States should adopt the model. Barbara McFarlin-Kosiec, Ph. D., Leadership

  • Overall satisfaction in Canada #DAresists #Medicare4all

    I live in Canada which has a single payer universal healthcare system. While it has its problems with regard to aging infrastructure, wait times for some elective surgery and doctor shortages in some areas, I am very satisfied with the system overall. The general population in Canada is healthier because visits to doctors and treatments don't cost anything except in taxes. This makes preventative as well as curative health care available and accessible to all. Within Canada healthcare varies somewhat from province to province because of the funding structure. I think some European countries have done it better, and I would encourage those designing a new system for the US to take the best of several systems, but public funding and universality are fundamental. Catherine Kingston

  • $30,000 in U.S. vice 10 Euros in Germany -- and the 10 Euros goes further! #DAresists #Medicare4all

    While I was in college Ohio, I had a severe staph infection and had to be hospitalizd for nearly a month. When I returned home, I still needed outpatient care for about 3 weeks. I had a Student Healthcare plan, but the insurance company denied payment b/c of pre-existing conditions. (I suffer from extreme neurodermitis since birth, and the staph infection is a common secondary effect). I wound up owing the hospital nearly 30,000 dollars. Fast forward 3 years. I am laying in a hospital in Germany for a month, and have only been insured for 10 months. I paid but 10 Euros (roughly the same in dollars) a day for care and treatment rivaling that which I received in the US. I also suffer from allergies, asthma, and Keratoconus, and require constant medical aid, which is only affordable through Universal Health Care. In the US, I constantly lost or had to give up jobs b/c of my condition. Thanks to Germanys fair and stable Universal Health Care system, I can work steadily and enjoy life with my family. -- Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. - Proverbs 22:17-18

Retired Foreign Service Officer, having served in 19 countries in nine geographic regions of the world. Passions are advocacy for democracy and democratic values and multi-culturalism. Personal passions include sports and bridge