On Americans and healthcare

It makes me cry, watching what's happening in America.

Okay-okay, so most things make me cry at the moment - Notting Hill, reading The Press... seeing lambs and calves on our paddocks - but this really pushes a button somewhere.

I would not even consider living in US now that I have a family. It's... crazy. The way people in that country go bankrupt and die because of medical problems they have, or their families have, it's nuts!

Every day the government shut-down keeps going, I look out the window and wonder, when will it end? How will it end?

What'll happen to their health insurance?

I'm not well-versed in what Obamacare is offering, so I cannot say if what they're hoping to do at the moment is awesome, but to me, universal healthcare is a no-brainer.

I have never lived in a country that didn't have universal healthcare, and I doubt I will ever, either. The two seasons I spent in Alaska don't count because I had travel insurance and I was never away from Europe long enough to make my European insurance cease anyway... but even in Alaska, that second season, I came home early because of (potential) health problems.

I hadn't had a period for months, and what I had instead were growing pains in my abdomen, up to a point where I was sitting in the kitchen tent with our cook, telling her I was scared there was something wrong, and crying. I ended up quitting my job and flying back to Europe because I was needing to see my GP and then my gynecologist.

And it's not really a point of American healthcare here, because being a seasonal worker I would've not had access to public healthcare either way, but unlike my American friends, I had an option of getting on a plane, flying home, and seeing a doctor.

Which many of them, didn't.

I've seen a guy try and stitch his own hand after cutting it with an axe. Then, because it didn't work so well, I've seen our veterinarian stitch his hand (because going to a medical centre instead would've been expensive).

I have a friend who was lucky enough to get a melanoma whilst she was working for a publicly funded organisation - because otherwise, she would've had to pay for it herself, and boy are melanomas expensive there or what.

And deadly.

It's just... nuts. People whose children are dead; young, ambitious 20-somethings who are dead; fathers, mothers who are gone well before their time - or if they're still around, families that are broke. And, heaven forbid, if your child is born with any sort of a medical condition! Or, say, your coverage gets dropped because your employer went bust and you can't get new insurance because you have, oh, I don't know, diabetes, or PCOS, or something else along those lines.

It's nuts.

But I do like the conversation that has started under Dooce's post on this topic, dooce.com/2013/10/09/omg-the-aca-is-like-fml

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