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September 24, 2009 § 14 Comments

This is so brilliant

I don’t tend to do a lot of defending of anything Dutch. It’s much more fun to complain ;) But over the years I’ve slowly realized that I have two homes now- the US & Holland. Part of that means seeing the good & bad in both places  & there are things I love & dislike about each.

There is one thing that makes me crazy though, & that is the debate about health care.

I live in a country that has health care for all, regardless of employment- because it’s not employer based, no restrictions for pre-existing conditions & even…dental. I have never heard of anyone being denied treatment. And having had to experience specialized care & hospitalization a number of times I can tell you that the care is excellent. There are instances when you must wait to see a specialist, or wait to have a procedure, but it’s not that bad- really not a lot different than back home. I want to go back to the US someday, but you know what? One thing that may delay that dream significantly is my fear of what about health insurance?

I get so angry when I hear opponents screaming against the proposed health care reform- that they don’t want us to turn into {god forbid} Canada or Europe.  I wish they could imagine what a weight would be lifted from our economy and sense of security if health care coverage was not an issue. Here, most people cannot fathom a child without health insurance; they cannot imagine being turned down for care. Insurance companies do not make decisions for your doctor & they do not have a choke hold on anyone. If you ask a random Dutch person on the street what they think about paying a bit more {depending on your income} so that everyone has coverage, the answer would probably be a bewildered, ‘of course’.  These images of dark dank buildings with unskilled doctors, people waiting years for appointments and elderly folks being lined up to die are ridiculous. Imagine not having to save up your vacation time and ‘sick days’ so that you can be sick or have surgery. Imagine not worrying about losing your job- and therefore your insurance- if something bad happens to you or someone you love & you have to take time off? Imagine never worrying if you can afford medication. Seriously. For 7 years it has not once crossed my mind. Meanwhile I know people at home struggling to justify a needed procedure or having their benefits cut. It makes me so sad. No system is perfect but I can say without hesitation that the system here works. I think if people back home stopped listening to the idiots spewing lies & exaggerations – or screaming about socialism & did a little research they would probably come to see that the benefits far outweigh the bad.

Here’s a good link if you’re interested…

& please read this article– very fair to both the US & Dutch systems, funny & puts some things into perspective

the end

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§ 14 Responses to *

  • Hiking Mama says:

    I share so many similar feelings, and it’s nice to hear from someone who has actually experienced this type of health care. The only reason I have to drag little man out of bed at 6 am and drive an hour to work in the morning is because without my job, we couldn’t afford healthcare. Although I am healthy (have always been healthy) and have no health problems, my family history prevents me from obtaining private insurance–and it’s for something that will never AFFECT ME. Even with multiple physicians saying that I will never need medical treatment related to my family history, no ins. company will allow me to have private insurance. Therefore, we are paying thousands a month for family coverage since my hubby works for a small business. How can two educated, hard working people have to devote such an insanely large portion of their earnings for health coverage?? How is that ethical?? We have such a broken system, and I agree, it needs to be reformed. Great post!!

  • beckarecka says:

    Great post, Kerry. I agree with Hiking Mama in that I share so many of your opinions/feelings on the subject–but it is so nice to hear from someone who has both lived in & used another system. It sounds so refreshing. And I am so glad that with all the medical crap you’ve dealt with, dealing with the insurance hasn’t been apart of it these last years.

  • Gina says:

    Thanks for posting from the other side. I’m one of the underinsured in the US. I can’t be on Keith’s insurance because our premiums would cost more every month than our mortgage. Instead, I have private catastrophic insurance that costs a few hundred dollars a month, has a $5200 deductible, and will never cover a doctor’s visit or a prescription even if the deductible is met. It will also not cover a preexisting condition that I have. It’s useless unless I suffer some catastrophic trauma. I haven’t been to a doctor since I paid $2000 out of pocket for steroid shots 3 herniated discs more than a year ago. That means no pap, no mammogram, no wellness check up.

    Sorry for the long rant, but you pressed my button :). Thanks again for your perspective.

  • Melissa says:

    Couldn’t agree more…this is one of the many reasons I’m excited to move to NL. Thanks for the links too…my husband failed to tell me we would get vacation money deposited into our account from the govt..WHAT?! Ben is baffled daily by the arguments going around Washington and among the people of the US that feel Obama is trying to socialize medicine and OOHHHH what a horrible thing. Amazing. I get really fired up so I shall now part.
    Thanks again!

  • HabeshaChild says:

    great post – I am 1000% with you.

  • lammmimi says:

    I totally agree with you, since I am a Medical eligibility worker, and have to witness daily of people asking for Medical, since they have no insurance, or can not afford the insurance cut throat cost, especially for the elder, the disabled people, sometimes it is just too much heart breaking to see. I visit Europe frequently, and very jealous of their school, and healthcare system,besides their wonderful cultures, and historical beauties.

  • Christine says:

    What a wonderful post! I so very much agree with you.

  • gayla says:

    Oh, I so completely agree with you!!! It has been driving me absolutely insane to hear people complain that Obama’s healthcare plan would, gasp, turn us into Europe. I simply do not understand the arguments.

    Your post was so well written!!

  • klarobinson215 says:

    Universal health care should be a right for EVERYONE!! And while there are some waits in Canada (I waited 6 months to have thyroid surgery a few years back) they do rush you if it is serious enough. Turning into Canada isn’t too bad ;) I love it here!

  • lisette says:

    In the last lines you say ‘Imagine’ a few times.. It reminds me of John Lennon, as if he would sing. ‘Image all the people have healthcare’ or ‘Image we would be solidair towards eachother’
    Love your post. Makes me realize (again) we are very lucky here. Thanks!

  • Elizabeth says:

    When you said “a weight would be lifted from our economy and sense of security if health care coverage was not an issue”, I thought “Yes!”

    People who cannot afford health care are truly (and rightfully) anxious. It affects how we see everything when we are worried in this way.

    Basic needs are a right not a privilege.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post.

    *It is important to note, however, there are excellent and affordable clinics for women in most large towns for yearly exams. I am worried about Gina not getting the care she needs. I lived in Chicago for many years as an uninsured artist and found some very decent care.

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