Donald Trump has further angered the establishment right by saying that part of the problem with Republicans is opposition to National Health Care.
Im not writing to take sides on this issue one way or the other, but rather to at least make sure that people arent debating the issue under a false premise, as I used to when I listen to right-wing talk radio.
In the US there has been for the last 20 years a wide ranging argument over healthcare. The debate is completely warped by roughly half of the country believing that the US has The best health care in the world even if there are some issues, and perhaps costs are high.
I used to believe this in the 90s when I listened to Rush Limbaugh every day and read National Review. Why? I had never
been to another country outside of first class vacations with my parents or once when I went to Montreal with my French class in 8th grade. I had no basis for believing this whatsoever, and yet I believed it. I wasnt alone. Tens of million of Americans believe this without any evidence whatsoever.
For the record: It is not true. Its a massive, monstrous lie. I have used medical services in: Italy, Albania, Poland, Latvia, Kenya, Tanzania and Panama. It was better than the US everywhere except Albania where I had to bribe the nurse 100 dollars the night my daughter was born.
In Kenya if you get sick you walk to the Pharmacy. Whos in the Pharmacy? A doctor. An African doctor? Yup. And guess what? Hes great. Hes spent the last 10 years treating sick people and had to do his first years out in the bush treating people 18 hours a day with horrific diseases. He exists to treat people who are sick, not to build a practice around convincing people to get back surgeries they dont need and over 50% of the time dont work so that he can bill their insurance 100K.
You walk in, you talk to him. He knows what you have. He treats sick people all day, 6 days a week, 12 hours a day or more. You dont fill out any paperwork or listen to the person in front of you complain that her copay is 25 when she thinks it should only be 20.
He gives you pills, you give him 10 dollars. Transaction complete.
And its not just for minor things. I had Malaria in Tanzania and the medical care was excellent.
In Latvia I cracked some ribs after riding a bike out to the Rumbula forest where 25,000 jews were massacred over a few days. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumbula_massacre).
I was in bad shape when I woke up the next day. So, I went to the doctor. Now, it turns out there isnt much you can do for cracked ribs anyway, but this is how the process went: I checked in. The lady behind the desk asked me what was wrong. I told her. I filled out one very small form. She told me it would be about an hour. I asked if I could go to lunch and come back. She said sure, take your time, you wont lose your place. So i went and had lunch and a couple of beers. I went back and walked right into the doctor. 40 euros.
In Italy once my Italian friend took me to the doctor. I didnt wait at all. After figuring out quickly that I needed antibiotics my friend and he discussed payment a bit before the doctor said Eh, dont worry about it.
I have become so disgusted with US healthcare that I worry about getting sick in the US. Last year on my way to Panama I started to feel sick and thought good thing Im leaving the US.
In the US how often do you listen to people worry about their health insurance? Its nearly constant. Yet I have never once NOT ONCE.. heard my friends overseas worry about their health care ever. Either they have national health insurance, or, there is a free market in health care and they can get health care at a reasonable price.
Yet, tens of millions of Americans believe this monstrous lie? Why? it fits in with the American exceptionalism that has been drilled into their heads. Something I will be writing about more in another post.