I was recently spending a lazy hour channel surfing and watched a short segment on the ongoing debate across the border in the USA about universal health care. The speaker was ripping on it calling it a slippery slope to all kinds of alarming sounding things. Socialism was tossed out like a bad word, and there was a lot of fear-mongering coming from this man. I'm not sure what his political position was, but given he was on TV he was obviously someone that people listen to.
I'm keenly aware that most of my readers live in either Canada or America and probably have two very different reactions to my suggestions of "talk to your doctor" or "go get such and such test". I wish I had an easy solution for my American neighbours who see dollar signs in their nightmares when contemplating treatments for Crohn's, Colitis or other illnesses.
On a past vacation in Orlando, Florida I came down with a super painful sore throat and had to visit an Orlando clinic. I spoke to a doctor for a few minutes and was given a test for strep throat, then a prescription for antibiotics. This visit left me with an over $300 bill, plus the cost of the Rx! What! I can only shudder to think what a colonoscopy or small bowel follow-through costs. Or a night's stay in the hospital, let alone repeat doctor visits to try and get things sorted out and a treatment plan that works.
I know that many Americans with chronic illnesses are among the many who are clamoring for universal healthcare, but honestly I don't know that much about the politics behind the issue. Here in Canada we all pay a little extra via our taxes - that's everyone regardless of whether you're sick or not. Then if you ever need it, the primary health-care services are there for you at usually no cost. Some optional services and most cosmetic ones are not covered.
The argument I hear from some who are against this system is why should I pay for something I don't need? Insisting that this form of socialism is somehow evil. Americans have car and home insurance right? Isn't this the same? Everyone pays a certain amount and then you're covered (usually) in the event of an expensive accident. Isn't that socialism too? Is it ok because it's run by a company and not the government? Why is it ok to 'bail out' sick companies but not sick people?
Again I don't know much about the issue State-Side but I respect Americans for how they stand up for what they want, and work darn hard for what they have. In my opinion those who are in favour of a system which ensures everyone is cared for when they are sick or injured should start making even more noise... government spending needs new priorities - the people and not corporations.
That's just my 2 cents. Anyone with tips on government grants or medical programs to help people with IBD cover their medical costs, please post in the comments, it would be greatly appreciated!