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Do you live in a country with national healthcare?  Is socialized medicine as bad as the enemies of reform are telling us?  I don't know about you, but I'm seeing some of my own Democratic friends buy into the fear that is being spread by those who don't want change.  Help us dispell the misinformation.

Here's how:

On Friday, my friend Alison Morano started a new Facebook group so we can invite our international friends to tell their stories.  Please join the group and tell us yours.

See below for a sampling...

Harry Keane:

The United Kingdom National Health Service has saved my life twice. In 1958, when I was 11 years old, I had a life-saving heart operation, courtesy of the NHS. There would not have been any way for my parents to have paid for this privately and, without the NHS, I would have died in my late teens. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer and once again the NHS came to my rescue. I've had treatment that would have cost tens of thousands of pounds, which I would only have been able to afford by either re-mortgaging my house or selling it and moving into rented accommodation. My treatment was prompt and effective and I'm proud to live in a country that treats its citizens on the basis of their needs rather than their wealth.

Siobhan Harley:

I was born in Scotland and every experience I've had with the UK National Heath Service has been exceptional. My mother has been a nurse since she was 21 years old. She worked for nearly 20 years in the UK and over 10 here in America and she stills says the National Health Service is the best simply because of all the preventative measures they take. In the UK, you also have the option of paying privately to skip the waiting lists (which are not the nightmare people make them out to me). When my little brother needed a simple operation my parents decided to pay for it privately so it could be taken care of right away. When I was under 16, all my medicine was free. It's also free after you turn 65. I had to go to the ER once when I was 15 and there was a 10 minute wait. That's it! My mom says that when you treat one person, you treat the whole community. If you're able to catch & treat an infectious (sic) in one person, you stop the spread of it and have healthier communities as a result.

Can you help?

Originally posted to Susan S on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 06:43 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    I'm on a panel at Netroots Nation with Jeffrey Feldman, casperr, kid oakland, and land of enchantment. Please join us!

    by Susan S on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 06:43:25 AM PDT

  •  I've noted this little recognized fact in an (8+ / 0-)

    article and several comments. Question: In a recent national poll who was voted Canadas favorite and number one hero? Answer: Tommy Douglas, the man responsible for Canada's national health care system. Chew on that for a bit wingnuts.

    I get along just fine with God. It's his fan club I have significant problems with.

    by utopia on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 06:49:53 AM PDT

  •  I think we are beyond that. Watch Sicko. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement." President Barack Obama

    by Jack Dublin on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 06:55:29 AM PDT

  •  Damn! That's a brilliant idea! eom (0+ / 0-)

    "We should not let our fears hold us back from pursuing our hopes." --JFK./ I'm an optimist, not an ostrich. --WWD.

    by wewhodream on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 06:56:09 AM PDT

  •  go read jerome a paris' diaries on his son (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan S, SarahLee

    He's done two or three on him. They live in France.

  •  I don't, and won't 'facebook'. Here's my story: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, FarWestGirl, tardis10

    Feel free to use it.

    No co-pays, no deductibles, no paperwork, no denials, no 'bureaucrat' between me and my doctor. I choose my doctor, my specialists, which hospital I'm treated in.

    Changing jobs, or not being employed, mean nothing to my health care.

    I have no concerns about pre-existing conditions, or even future conditions.

    I can't be dropped, can't be denied.

    My children were covered from the moment my wife became pregnant. This included at-home visits by midwives and nurses. Choice of where to have the birth, which way to conduct the birth, was completely in our hands.

    After the last birth, twins which were our 5th and 6th children, she decided to have tubal ligation (tubes tied (cut)) and no one got in on the discussion but herself and I. No one was fighting to stop her, no one complained about the decision or refused to carry it out due to their personal beliefs. Mind you, the doctor who stepped in for the cesarean at the last minute (we were having a regular birth but our son's heart rate was climbing and so we decided on an emergency cesarean and our doctor was already in theater) was from India and didn't believe in the decision. We told her that her religious beliefs had no place in our health care and she could carry out the procedure or get out. She carried out the procedure.

    In all things, at all times, we know we are covered no matter what happens to us. We never worry about getting care, only about getting well.

    Health care is a RIGHT! No one should be made to die for not having coverage.



    Let the record be corrected: the 43rd President of the United States of America was Dick 'Dick' Cheney

    by DiegoUK on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 07:07:41 AM PDT

  •  I don't live in one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, FarWestGirl

    I did, however, use the German and Dutch systems.

    I had a seizure in Germany and I was seen within the day by a neurologist who gave me an EEG and medication.  20 bucks.

    I perforated an eardrum in Holland.  My friend's doctor came to the apartment on a housecall to see me.  Free.

    "I refute it thus."

    by otto on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 07:10:36 AM PDT

  •  Isn't there a way to (4+ / 0-)

    contribute our experiences via some group project here, without joining Facebook?

    "It takes two to lie. One to lie, one to hear it." Homer Simpson

    by Euroliberal on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 07:39:31 AM PDT

    •  as long as we want to preach to the converted (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, FarWestGirl

      Our reach is greater on Facebook because our non-believing friends may be exposed to the information.

      I'm on a panel at Netroots Nation with Jeffrey Feldman, casperr, kid oakland, and land of enchantment. Please join us!

      by Susan S on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 07:43:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  what I meant was (0+ / 0-)

        if the contribution is of any value, some member of the FB group could freely copy it there, in it's entirety or excerpts.

        "It takes two to lie. One to lie, one to hear it." Homer Simpson

        by Euroliberal on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 08:45:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think casual readers (0+ / 0-)

          would find the stories as compelling (or believable) if they were all cut and pasted from another site.

          I'm on a panel at Netroots Nation with Jeffrey Feldman, casperr, kid oakland, and land of enchantment. Please join us!

          by Susan S on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 09:03:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I used to do occasional shifts as a flight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan S, SarahLee

    transport nurse in the early 90's. More than half of our patients were vacationing Canadian snowbirds in the Palm Springs area. It was cheaper for the CHS to charter our Jetstream and crew to fly them home for treatment than it was to get treatment in California.

    Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

    by FarWestGirl on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 08:38:29 AM PDT

  •  No Facebook, But Venezuela Health Care is Great. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've been living in Venezuela, where access to health care is a constitutional right for the past two years. I've used my free neighborhood clinic on several occasions and been delighted with their services. The Chavez government has established thousands of these clinics throughout the country and 85% of Venezuelans report using them and being satisfied with their treatment.

    The doctors and nurses have been friendly and helpful, taking all the time necessary to talk with me.  The wait on each of 5 occasions was less than 20 minutes.  The laboratory tests were completely free. On one occasion, I was referred to a specialist at the local free hospital.  I was given an appointment with the specialist within a week.

    No one asked me to fill out any paperwork at all, much less to pay any fees.  They didn't even ask if I was a resident or a tourist.

    The U.S. woud save billions of dollars simply by eliminating all the staff and facilities needed to keep track of insurance status and process claims, thus single-payer would be the most economical solution to reduce medical costs.  Universal coverage by the government would also provide the 50 million Americans who now have no health coverage with access to health care, saving all those exorbitant emergency room fees when the uninsured have no other place to go.  

    Preventative medicine, possible through single-payer, is an important aspect of the Venezuelan program, where all the government offices sent out instructions to their e-mail lists on how to spot and treat the swain flu.  I got e-mail messages from 3 different government agencies and even a text message from the phone company!  

    The only weakness in the Venezuelan health care system I have observed is the cost of drugs from the big U.S. drug companies.  While many drugs are provided free by the clinics, some are only available from U.S. companies and these are priced extremely high.  

    The Chavez government has just openned a generic drug production company, with more such manufacturers in development, in order to reduce the drug costs.

    Having formerly had Kaiser Permanente coverage in my home state of Hawaii, I can attest that Venezuelan health services are just as good, but with no charge to the patient, thus no bankruptcies to worry about.

    (Sorry, I just can't bring myself to join Facebook, but use this however you like.)


    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support single-payer health care and unions.

    by Justina on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 09:11:05 AM PDT

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