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Socialized Medicine – Is It Good Or Bad?

Socialized Medicine – Is It Good Or Bad?

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Published by Kate Walker Raidt
I love it when I meet someone who has a strong distaste towards socialized medicine. When I ask this person, “Why do you think socialized medicine is such a bad thing?” their response is always…”Well, my friend has a friend who has a friend who saw on Fox News that it’s really bad.”
I love it when I meet someone who has a strong distaste towards socialized medicine. When I ask this person, “Why do you think socialized medicine is such a bad thing?” their response is always…”Well, my friend has a friend who has a friend who saw on Fox News that it’s really bad.”

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Published by: Kate Walker Raidt on Sep 18, 2009
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05/11/2014

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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
voila!
, 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
 
US. After the ultrasound, I told my doctor to go ahead and email thephotos to my husband.“What?” he asked horribly confused.“Can’t you email the ultrasound images to my husband?”“Uh, no” the doc chuckled.“Well, in Prague they can” I sneered.I paid $280 for my ultrasound in the US where the equipment lookedlike something from the 70’s – and I paid $20 for my super-fancy,email-able ultrasound in Prague. Go figure.When delivery day came around in Germany, I had to have anemergency C-section. I had developed a staph infection and ended upin the hospital for almost three months after my baby was born. I hadthree surgeries, months of physical therapy and dozens of follow-updoctor visits. Guess how many medical bills I received? Zero. Zilch.Nada. We did not pay one penny out-of-pocket. And I receivedoutstanding care.A Harvard study was conducted in 2005 which revealed that the #1cause of bankruptcy in America are medical bills – and 75% of thepeople who went bankrupt
had health insurance at the onset of their illness
! Based on my next medical experience in the US, I am notsurprised by these statistics.My family and I pay $850 per month for the “best medical insurance”in town. You would think that by paying such a steep premium thateverything would be covered, right? Well, after our second child wasborn we decided to use an IUD – a form of birth control where, in lessthen 5 minutes, a doctor inserts a paper clip-looking-thing in thefemale nether-region. Well, on Christmas Eve we received a bill for$2400 because our insurance “doesn’t cover this procedure since weare self-employed.” The lady at the billing office said if we paid ourbalance in full (on Christmas Eve must I remind you), she would take30% off our bill. So, ka-ching, we paid the $1500 balance. Then comesthe fun part. In January, we received a 30-day-late delinquent noticefor our bill. The insurance company never credited the 30% discount. Icalled the credit department, they apologized profusely, and promisedto credit my account. Then we received a 60-day-late notice inFebruary. I called the credit department yet again and I basically madethe woman promise me her next-born child if she did not credit myaccount. Well, she must not have wanted a kid, because March comesaround and..suprise…we received a 90-day late notice. And the nail inthe coffin was receiving the letter from the collection agency. Over one

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