National Healthcare by Celia Klassen Time for Tea

I am not one to bring up controversial topics very often. I enjoy being very non-political. However, the debate on National Healthcare is one that I really do feel passionate about because I have lived with National Healthcare and I have lived with America’s system with insurance and also with Medicaid.
There are several points to consider when looking at National Healthcare. Even those who live overseas, myself included, believe (d) it is free. Nothing is free dear reader! British people pay a large amount of taxes into the National Healthcare system – something they have no choice to do.
If you want to go private and pay for your healthcare you can, but you’ll still pay National Healthcare taxes. That money is spent towards a system you then have absolutely no control or say in at all. You don’t choose your doctor, you go to your nearest general practitioner’s office and you see whichever doctor is available at the time. If you are pregnant, you see a midwife, but it might be a different one each week, and it certainly won’t be the same one who delivers your baby.
It was nice to never think about how I would pay for healthcare. It was a shock when I got my first healthcare bill over here – I assumed that because I had insurance it worked like the National Healthcare and I didn’t need to pay anything, I had never even heard of a deductible, so thanks to the billing person at my doctor’s office for patiently explaining everything to me when I called to complain that I had a bill!
So am I pro-National Healthcare? Absolutely not. The deciding factor for me is whether or not you will be treated – nobody in the USA is turned away from emergency medical care because they cannot pay – contrary to rumors we hear in Britain all the time.
So, why am I against it? When you go to the emergency room, you will sit on hard plastic chairs amongst the homeless and the drunks, next to someone who has overdosed, next to someone screaming in pain, next to someone puking blood, next to an old person who has fallen asleep and you aren’t sure if they’re even still alive. And you will wait. And wait. Hours and hours. Sometimes women in labor will spend their entire labor in the waiting room until they are quickly ushered back as they yell out that they need to push. Now, people who are a very dire emergency, or who come in an ambulance are seen quicker. But a friend of mine needed an ambulance a few months ago and was told they were very sorry but it would be an hour and a half before one could get to her. If you need surgery, unless it is immediately life threatening, you will be on the waiting list for years. I mean literal years.
For me the difference comes down to this story. I needed surgery on painful bunions on my feet. I went to my GP in England and although she laughed and said she wouldn’t even put me on the list because I was too young to be considered and it had to be crippling before I could go on the list, she did refer me to a foot clinic for some special insoles.
They examined how I walked and my feet and pulled out a regular insole you can buy at any drug store or Walmart. Then he reached into a drawer and pulled out some craft foam that is sticky on one side. He cut a semi-circle of foam and stuck it on each insole. I kid you not dear reader, sticky craft foam, I bought some for my kids from Hobby Lobby at Christmas.
About a year later I was living here and they started really bothering me again so I went to my doctor and received a referral to a foot specialist. He examined my feet for less than a minute and I will never forget what he said “yes, you definitely have bunions I’m not surprised it’s painful, you also have plantar fasciitis, and both can be corrected with surgery. Now I’m very sorry but my schedule for surgery this week is very full, would next week be ok?”
My eyes almost fell out of my head. I got surgery the next week. I still would not qualify to be on the list if I lived in England. My dad had crippling bunions, and at 65 finally paid for them to be done himself.

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