Thursday, November 5, 2009

Easy health care in America?

I remember the orthopedic surgeon asking me, “How easy will it be for you to take a break from your life? Because I believe, you will need major knee surgery.” Little did we know that the one knee surgery was the first of three, which turned this ballet dancer into an expert on crutches. My five month knee recovery combined with the battle with my health care company, left me shaken. Being able to have the health care system work for me would have aided me in my recovery. I learned so much from that injury. In fact my life changed. (Click here to read about how Honey helped me recover).

And then my Canadian Grandmother/Nana told me how easy her eye surgery went. I know not every health care story is like this one, but don't you wish they could be?

About 10 years ago, Nana had cataract surgery. Last week she went in for her annual eye check up and had her daughter go with her. The doctor took one look at my Nana's eye and asked her if her right eye was still a little blurry. Nana replied that it was, but at her age why take care of it?

The doctor told her that he could take care of her eye for you, immediately. Nana thought about it and she answered, "Sure, why not?"

And this is the part that amazed me…right then and there; the eye doctor asked my Nana

and Aunt to come back into the office. Nana walked in, sat down and before she had time to get scared the doctor started to prepare the eye machines. Nana exclaimed wait, "I haven’t even taken off my coat?

And then he fixed her eye. No paperwork or waiting for an appointment.

Could this happen in America? On a same day appointment a doctor walks you into the back office and fixes your ailment immediately. This also reminds me of when I saw the movie Sicko by Michael Moore and felt challenged by the questions he asked about the America health care system.

Growing up as a Canadian, I never had to wonder if I could see a doctor or a dentist. I could walk right in. Am I weighing in on the American health care debate? Well yes, but don't you think our system and society could be easier? Would love to know your thoughts....


DesBisoux said...

i'm i've basically grew up with probably the best health care. not on an economical point of view...obviously we're million in debt because of it, but from a patient point of view.
i'm struggling in the UK to get used to the way they do/don't do things.
can't imagine how it's like in the States!

Nicole S. said...

I haven't seen Sicko yet, mostly because I'm scared to see how awful things really are here in the states. But I do think its criminal how many people think its perfectluy acceptable for their fellow countrymen to go without health insurance just so that we all won't have to pay a few dollars more in taxes. Or fight less wars.

Dollface said...

I hope to not go to the doctor yet!! Although, it is strange how you can just walk in anywhere, anytime.... yikes, xoxxoo

BakerGirl said...

It's crazy how hard it is to get decent care here. I had excellent health insurance through my moms federal employee program until I was 22. The day I turned 22 I lost all insurance coverage. Now, I had tried to be proactive about this and gone and met with an insurance provider (the largest one in the South) and done the paperwork. Literally 2 days before I lost all coverage I got a call saying they had rejected my request for my requested coverage. Instead, they would offer me what is known as Major Medical Coverage. This really only helps me if I was in a life or death situation and had to go to the Emrgancy Room. They will cover that 80/20.

I don't get prescription coverage. I don't get dental. I have to pay to see a doctor out of pocket. Thank god my parents help me out because 200-300 dollars and appointment gets expensive quickly. I've cut back on my care substantially. I now question myself constantly when I'm sick. Do I REALLY need to go to the doctor or will it pass?

I'm terrified that I will develop cancer as it runs in my family and appears at an early age. If I did develop breast cancer, which all the women in my family have had, I'm pretty sure it would bankrupt my family.

It's terrifying to think about those things but that is what I think about constantly.

The ironic thing is, my parents would have been willing to spend 5x's more on an individual plan that matched my previous coverage. However, they decided it wasn't cost effective for them because I occasionally was prescribed third tier allergy drugs for sinus infections. Did you know Allegra-D is a third tier allergy drug and could jepordize your health insurance? I didn't.

I am all for any form of universal healthcare. Many of my friends have also struggled to acquire decent health insurance. Almost all have been rejected due to medications they used at one point, but no longer use today or abnormal pap smears.


I think we need our own version of the French system. It's a mix of universal with the option to pay more for additional coverage or private coverage.

Brenda @Cozy Little House said...

Healthcare in America is a topic I'm happy to weigh in on. My husband is a psychiatrist, and he's for a national plan, as I am. Of course the surgeons and such don't usually want it. Would take away too much of their income. But this country is in sorry shape. We could take a lesson from the Canadians.

Sera said...

We most definitely need an overhaul in our country when it comes to healthcare. It gets me so riled up. I pay over $200/month in premiums so my daughter and I can have medical insurance. Yet, people who are not citizens come here and have babies for free. Seriously. I'm sitting here with thousands of dollars in medical bills that are owed due to my daughter's recent illness that included 2 hospitalizations, several ER visits, and surgery. And, here I am - the responsible one who PAYS for healthcare - yet, I get stuck with these overwhelming bills that I really can't afford. Something's gotta change.

Laura said...

DesBisoux: Thank you for your comment and when you have a chance try to see the movie Sicko. It says so much about the worlds health care systems.

Nicole S: Couldn't have said it better myself!

Laura said...

Dollface: What great news, but I'm also glad your open to hearing about how the Canadians live =)

carrie1 said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. =)

I came to get a dose of San Fran from you! =)

Look forward to following your blog.

KAC said...

I completely agree that we need a complete overhaul in our health care system and DesBisoux it's so interesting to hear about health care systems in other countries! Even though it was definitely a bit biased it was a great movie.