Socialized Medicine – Is It Good Or Bad?By and American Who Has Experienced It In Three CountriesI love it when I meet someone who has a strong distaste towardssocialized medicine. When I ask this person, “Why do you thinksocialized medicine is such a bad thing?” their response isalways…”Well, my friend has a friend who has a friend who saw on FoxNews that it’s really bad.”“So you have never experienced it yourself firsthand?” I ask.“Well, no…but…uh…I hear it’s really bad.”It’s interesting (and shocking) to me that people have such a strongopinion about socialized medicine when 99% (possibly 100%) of thosepeople have never stepped foot in a hospital run by a socializedsystem. I have. Three times. Yes, I lived to tell about it.Back in 2001 while backpacking across Europe, I developed a terriblethroat infection while visiting Paris, France. I knew I needed to see adoctor. I went to the front desk of my crummy youth hostel and askedthe receptionist how to get to the nearest doctor. He said, “Wait here.Someone will be here soon.” I figured he was sending someone to giveme directions. About 15 minutes later, a doctor fully equipped with docgear showed up.
What? The doctor has come to me? No waiting room?No office visit? I am an uninsured foreigner and I’m getting VIPtreatment? This is unbelievable!
Doc checked me out, sent me downthe street to the pharmacy to fill a prescription, I paid him twentybucks, and
, I was done! I never stepped foot out of my hostel. In2008, while back in America, I came down with a flu-like illness. I calledmy primary doctor. Booked up. He couldn’t see me. I called three out-of -network docs. Booked up. I finally had to drive to a town 20 milesoutside of Austin and wait in the waiting room over an hour just to findout I had some funky thing that all-the-medicine-in-the-world couldn’thelp. Next time I get sick, I’m going to make sure I’m in Paris.In 2004, I became pregnant with my first child. My husband is fromGermany so we spend a lot of time in Europe. My first trimester was inPrague, The Czech Republic. My second trimester was in America. Mythird trimester and delivery was in Germany. My first pre-natal visit wasin Prague. The doctor’s equipment was so high-tech I felt like I was in aspace shuttle. After the ultrasound he asked, “Who would you like yourultrasound images emailed to?” He typed my husband’s email into theultrasound machine, and seconds later my husband received our littlemiracle into his inbox. A few months later I had a pre-natal visit in the