Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

Myths about the NHS as related to ObamaCare

I was reading the thread on We Survived Bush about MissM’s photo, and this gem of a comment about life in Europe popped up:

Have u been to Europe? If u consider greater quality of life living in places that are old, outdated, everything is compact and not to many modern conveniences, I guess maybe u should move there. Sorry, I like my new house, granite counter tops, having a new car every couple of yrs, etc..

And I can’t help but laugh. I think she watched Lord of the Rings and thinks we all live in dirt huts and dig holes to go to the bathroom. Or maybe she watched a film that takes place in East Germany in the 1960s. Or does she think we all live in massive, sprawling estates like Downton Abbey or in a castle like Hogwarts? I mean, seriously? Define modern conveniences. I have running water in my house, I have electricity. I have a phone line and I have a TV. I have a washing machine (that’s a combo with a dryer) and an electric shower. I also live in an 1840s farm house, but there are plenty of new builds popping up all over the place.

I also happen to have a coal-burning fire place and a coke-burning stove, but that’s also because I live in an 1840s farmhouse and we actually LIKE having a coal fire (don’t talk to me about the stove).

You can have central heating if you want, you can have dish washers, satellite TV, video gaming systems (we have a Wii), computers (writing this on my netbook, which is next to the desktop and I can see my husband’s laptop bag, too), mobile phones – sorry, cell phones…even iphones if you want ’em.

We have more brands of cars than are available in North America and hey – modern cars like Jaguar, Audi, Volvo, and Volkswagen are all made in Europe. All that AND a decent public transportation system. From my house, I can get to Germany in about 5 hours via public transit from London. Unless you live near the Canadian or Mexican border, can YOU get to a foreign country by train in 5 hours? Or drive through 5 countries in one day?

All that AND healthcare. The rest of the European Union will be much the same.

Tell me again how Europe doesn’t have modern conveniences?

Another comment I frequently see states that we have long waiting lists in England and they don’t want this happening in the US. Below is my reply.

The “waiting lists” here are no different than waiting in the US for your insurance to approve a specialist (which as I remember, can take months), but if you are faced with a life-threatening emergency, you will be put at the top of the queue. I needed non life-threatening emergency surgery in 2010. I was send to A&E (that’s the UK term for ER) by the after hours GP I went to see and stayed in the hospital for 3 days waiting for an open slot for surgery because I *could* wait. If it was life-or-death, they would have rolled me into surgery at 2 in the morning. The longest I personally have had to wait for an appointment has been one month, and I chalk that down just to availability as I received the appointment within one week of being told I needed it.

The thing you have to remember about the British society is that as a whole we tend to like to complain more than praise things. But I can tell you firsthand that the NHS works. My husband still has his father alive thanks to the NHS and his family has never had to worry about where the money was coming from to pay the bills from his kidney transplant. My husband’s best mate had his leg amputated due to an accident over 20 years ago, and he has to go to a special hospital to have a new leg fitted every two years or so and he never has to worry about not being able to feed his family because he has to have a stay n the hospital and a new leg so frequently.

I’m a housewife and an immigrant and I receive the same level of care as anyone else….and I’ve even contributed to the cost of the NHS as the NHS is partially funded through VAT (sales tax).

It’s such a relief to know that when my husband and I decide we are ready to start our family that we do no need to worry about the costs of giving birth or being able to afford doctors if there are complications during the pregnancy. So many of my friends in the US give birth and then are faced with thousands of dollars in hospital bills.

And birth control? FREE. No matter if you are a visitor, immigrant, or citizen.

Th NHS might not be perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot better than my options ever were when I lived in the US, including when I had HMO care through my job at a bank. Even with monthly premiums of over $300, I still had to pay loads out of pocket for a spinal tap to determine if I had MS (I don’t, thankfully), not to mention the follow-up care and subsequent ER visit when the pain relievers didn’t work!

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1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Gillermo October 15th, 2015 5:19

    I have mixed breastfeeding exenirpeces. With my first child a daughter, I found it really easy and satisfied her fully. I kept going until 6 months. However, with my second child a boy, nothing seemed to satisfy him at all. First time around, I didn’t feel under pressure to do it at all it was a nice to have. Second time around eight years later, there seemed to be a huge change in how the Health Visitors treated me and what the NHS policy was. It was like I had no choice about it. One of the Health Visitors really upset me. I lasted until around ten weeks and turned to expressing/mixed feeding, but I never really let on to the HVs because they made me feel like a naughty school girl. I really believe in a freedom of choice and was hurt about how I was treated even now. For anyone reading this, do what you think is right & yes, it’s great to breastfeed, but all children are different they’ve not read the books you have!

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