At present, I have a fever of 102 degrees, no appetite, aches and pains, and a wicked headache. I'm writing this diary, though, because the truth needs to be told.
Socialist medicine is good, fast medicine, big-profit insurance 'medicine' (errr...money handling) is bad, slow medicine.
Yup, I'm talking abut the NHS -- Britain's socialist health care system that emerged out of the ashes of World War II, in a country so destroyed it was dependent on US foreign aid for reconstruction. In a country with unimaginable amounts of wealth less than the US government takes in right now in taxes, and the richest one-percent have available to contribute to health care for all.
You see, the NHS' mission is to provide high quality health, dental, and eye care free at the point of delivery -- for every single person in the country. Its mission is to make you well. In contrast, in our 'non-system' of health care dominated by the likes of disgusting Aetna executives and appallingly rich Cigna CEOs, the mission is for rich people on Wall Street to make as much money as possible. In other words, doing health care is a bad thing.
Well, today, I noticed I had a fever, cough, green phlegm, etc. and decided I should get checked out as I am very busy at work at the moment. In a matter of seconds I was on the phone with a local practice -- not the one at which I was registered, but I knew they had an urgent care 'clinic' each day at 11 AM and 3 PM for walk-in patients. Kindly and respectfully the secretary listened and told me that although it was not my own surgery, I could still come to see a doctor on a one-off basis as I had an urgent care need. She did not ask for my 'insurance information.'
At the clinic, I filled out a one-page form, waited less than a half hour (when was the last time you waited less than a half hour for medical care on the same day at an urgent care clinic?), and saw a professional, friendly (enough) doctor. Nobody asked for my insurance information. As I waited I noticed that there were only two receptionists, and they spent all their time engaging with patients, because they were not forced to spend all their time arguing with the big-profit insurance thugs.
And, yes, the clinic and entire office was absolutely spotless. This was not Soviet care.
It took a few minutes for the doctor to realize I have a pretty brutal chest infection and that I would need a common antibiotic. Now, in the States, I would be wondering: how much is this going to cost me? As we all know, only the richest Americans have drug co-pays below 10 dollars in this day and age. Well, with the NHS, every prescription costs 7.66 GBP (11.72 USD at the time of purchase). Yup, every single one.
So, I took my prescription, did not have to meekly head back to the registration to take out my credit card and pay a massive deductible or co-pay, and headed to the pharmacy -- a pharmacy smack dab in the middle of central London outside a massive tube stop.
You know how long it took to fill my prescription at 4 PM? Five minutes! Yup, that's it! Why? Well, I worked at a pharmacy in the US during high school, and the majority of the pharmacists' time there was spent either arguing on the phone with Cigna, Aetna or Blue Shield, or consoling seniors about the fact that their medication would cost $545 for three pills.
When the big-profit insurance thugs tell you it takes 'longer' to get care in a socialist health care system, they are absolutely LYING to your face. (Click the link to see that an Aetna executive admitted this very fact.)
Yes, a hip replacement or other electie surgery might take a couple months of waiting, but that's because everyone is in the queue, unlike in America where a massive portion of the population has their care rationed by corporate thugs, or denied by a system that treats being sick as making one an insurance untouchable.
It's important that those of us who have been blessed to enjoy the high standard of care offered in Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Sweden, Germany, France, Japan, Costa Rica -- soon South Africa -- tell our stories, and expose the lies of the bastards whose sole professional goal in life is to spend as little money as possible on your care.
I hope that you've enjoyed this story, and you'll also have a look at this important site on bringing an improved Medicare for all to the States.