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Monday, March 22, 2010

Health care reform.

My youngest son, William is going to university in England and loves it there so much he has become a British citizen and plans to live there for the rest of his life. As you know I was born and raised in England and when I talk of home I'm referring to England. I really miss England and it's my dream to one day move home again.

A few weeks ago William called me at 4:30 am his time, to tell me he was very ill. I started to panic as I worried how he'd get to medical help. I don't think his housemates, all fellow students, had transportation. I went over his symptoms with him and was worried he may have appendicitis, maybe food poisoning or hopefully just a flu virus. Then I remembered my darling boy was in England and thankfully, he was in a country where they care about a persons health and well being no matter their income, age or nationality. I told him to call someone at the NHS. In Great Britain the National Health Service (NHS) is the 'single-payer publicly funded health care system everyone is entitled to no matter who they are.

William called the NHS and was informed by a nice lady that doctor would called him shortly. She also told him the doctor may come to his house if needed and if necessary drive him to a hospital. A short while later a doctor called him and listened carefully to him symptoms and informed him he had the nasty 24 hour flu that was dropping students like flies all over his university campus. He gave him advice on how to make himself more comfortable while he rode it out. It turned out most of the students he knew had it or were recovering from it.

William also has walked in off the street when he needed to see a doctor there and the wait for an appointment was 10 Minutes. No one is ever billed.

Meanwhile back in America; the anti-reform protesters, who formally called themselves Teabaggers now calling themselves Teapartiers, spat on Democratic Representative Emanuel Cleaver and called Democratic Representative John Lewis a nigger...fifteen times. Both Reps are black and John Lewis was a friend of Martin Luther King. They yelled sexual slurs at Democratic Rep Barney Frank, calling him a homo communist, just because these wonderful men voted for health care reform. These same anti reformers threw dollar bills and yelled 'get a job' and worse to a man with Parkinson's disease. This man they tormented and mocked is a former nuclear engineer with a doctorate from Cornell University who has had Parkinson's disease for fifteen years.

I am first reminded of the grown men and women who yelled nigger and spat at the little black girls who were being escorted into a formally all white school and I'm reminded of centuries ugliness I had always hoped was part of America's past but no, evil still walks among us.

I have lived in a country which has what the teabaggers like to called 'socialized medicine' and I have lived for many years here and so I am qualified to judge the two systems and I think even with insurance coverage, America's health care is awful. My family and I have received shoddy careless treatment. (With a few exceptions including my surgeon who fought for me against the greedy insurance company, Blue Cross, and gave me back the ability to walk again).

I cannot talk to my doctor on the phone. I've tried. I have a rare form of sarcoidosis and when I needed help between my 3-4 month apart appointments I asked my doctor for help and all I got was a call from a girl in the office who talked about my RA!!!! I don't have rheumatoid arthritis, I never had it...ever. I was not allowed to talk to my doctor on the phone. Why do I always feel like I have to fight to get the help I need in America despite having insurance.

This step towards some kind of reform is a pathetic one, but at least it's a step in the right direction. It has also exposed the thousands of people in America who are willfully ignorant and can be whipped up into a angry mob by the Republican leaders who tell them lies to scare them..... forced euthanasia being one of them.

Not one Republican Congressman voted for reform. All of you animal lovers who cry 'animal neglect' because someone is not seeking veterinary treatment for a sick or injured animal like you think they should, why don't you ask if the humans in that household are able to pay for a physician for themselves when they are ill. How about crying about human neglect as well! Oftentimes in America getting medical treatment means going bankrupt or ending up homeless.

My sons and granddaughter and daughter in law will be okay. My parents and other family members are well taken care of because they are in England. Thank goodness for Socialized heath care.

By the way. In our district we have a very evil hearted, dumb as a rock, Republican congresswoman called Cathy McMorris Rodgers. A few years ago she gave birth to a baby boy with severe health problems including Down's Syndrome. He needed surgery immediately in order to live. The little boy is getting the best health care, surgery and on going therapy American has to offer. McMorris Rodgers has bragged in her press releases how proud she is that she can carefully choose his treatments and she wants all Americans to have those choices. WHAT! We are paying for her little boy to have the best health care treatment because she has the same government health care she votes to deprive us of. The kind of treatment her son has received and will receive for the rest of his life would bankrupt many if not most American families.

Well I had to get that off my chest. I feel better now. Tomorrow find out why Dandylyons has this smug look on her face.


Unknown said...


Kara said...

I only have this country to compare to, and I agree that health care (more specifically, health insurance that is required in order to be able to afford health care) is too expensive. In times when I was working and not in school, I barely made enough to buy myself major medical insurance (I could only afford the temporary insurance). But I felt I needed it in the case that I got severely injured. But that meant that I didn't have the money for regular health checkups or womens's exams or anything like that. Thankfully I'm a pretty healthy person. Even now, I have health insurance (which I purchased through the school so it is a good deal), but I can barely afford it with the cost of education. And now, of course, I'm pregnant, which means that I do qualify for the state health care, but there are so many limitation to it. For example, they won't pay for me to see the doctor that is closer to home, where I will be when my baby is born, since I had to apply in a different county (the country where I go to school and currently live). To get coverage, I have to switch medical facilities halfway through my pregnancy! No Thanks! So, I'm using the insurance I can get through the school as a student. It is apparently a great deal, but still a lot to afford when you are also paying a veterinary student's tuition.

AND, when I had cramping that lasted for 2 days and I was worried about what it meant for my baby, since it was on the weekend, I couldn't get anyone to tell me they thought it best if I just came in to get checked out (even though the pregnancy book they gave me said to immediately notify your doctor is cramping lasts for more than 4 hours), I couldn't speak to my doctor, and I wasn't even allowed to speak to the on-call doctor. I spoke with nurses who were not familiar with my medical history - a history which made me worried about the cramping. I even tried to explain my worries, and I was basically dismissed. It really upset me. Especially since this is my first pregnancy! Everything did turn out okay, but I lost a little bit of faith in the on-call doctor who was the one that instructed the nurse to dismiss me. Especially after seeing my doctor the following week and having her schedule me with a person who specialized in high risk pregnancies for my appointment next month. I just wish I could be normal, but apparently that's not how it is. :)

But regardless, something needs to be different. And health care in our country is not the only thing that needs to change. Don't even get me started on that idea to move mustangs to the midwest instead of letting them exist on rangeland in the west. Why not move cattle to the midwest instead? The land is much more productive...but it's not practically free to graze on like it is on BLM lands...

Kara said...

Did Dandelions have a calf?!!?!?! BTW, I love your duck stories. I plan to get turkeys this summer and I'm so excited about it! We'll eat most of them, but keep a small flock. I'm getting mostly heritage turkeys this year so that they will be natural breeders and we can possibly have our own turkey poults the following year!

arlene said...

Breathe, Glad you agree. :)

Kara, Congratulations!! In the UK they realize that preventive medicine not only saves lives but money as well.
You have really been jerked around. You shouldn't have to worry about insurance costs and getting a hold of a doctor, when you need one, while you are in your condition. I saw a midwife both times I was pregnant. The midwives seem to be more accessible than the doctors. Both my pregnancies ended up being emergency c-sections though. Good luck. (Wish I'd had more babies). No calf for Dandylyons..she hates calves and bulls. lol.