Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dear United States of America,

Once again, I'm feeling disappointed in you. For one of the youngest, and one of the best nations in terms of achievements in education, sport, research, and the level of health care available, you are really starting to turn into an inbred old stick in the mud.

When will you look outside of yourselves and realize that putting some money into the collective pot so that your neighbor down the street who has cancer, with 3 kids and a wife, who can't go to work anymore, and can't pay his medical bills anymore, can get subsidized health care? So that his wife and family can stay in the house they've worked all their lives to have, until this arbitrary C-word came to take it away?

Don't you find it barbarous to turn a blind eye to those that truly need medical attention and cannot afford it? Doesn't everyone deserve a top-notch standard of care?

So what if in some countries the socialization of health care might mean longer waits for elective (not life-saving/necessary) surgery? I say, don't worry about them. The U.S. is not England. Implement the changes into the system, let the chips fall where they may, and then re-evaluate the plan. I'm betting this great nation can figure out a way to minimize wait times. Furthermore, if we can spend billions on an unsubstantiated war with not much to show for it other than thousands of American men and women with broken hearts and broken families (hi soldiers, god bless you), can't we spend on health care, and just see what happens? I think it's a better cause to spend on than war.

There are a few things about the health care system in the U.S. that I personally feel should stay-put. I think doctors should be paid vast amounts. They work their backside's off to get where they are, and I think they should be paid accordingly. I don't think just anyone should be able to get into medical school. I wish that the standard and quality of American care (which I find pretty excellent) should remain, just simply that it be more widely available.

The last time I visited the U.S. after living in Australia where everyone's health is for the most part taken care of, it just looked a little bit heathen. Dirty. Homeless people with infected legs that we all turn a blind eye to. (Now, yes, they might have some mental health issues that are preventing them from seeking treatment, but I haven't seen anything like that in Australia for a long long time. I think most people would go get their infection taken care of, regardless of the state of their mental health.)

So, Dear America, just think about it. I only want the best for you, and for us. I don't like to see other nations look upon you in dismay. I see the faces of American's living abroad who were once joyous, but reserved, about the new president who was in office: maybe, America will be brought up to standard. Now, I see disappointment in the nay-saying and filibustering.

Love,
Danielle

P.S. This was hastily written before going to work today, but I had to get it down. Yes, it probably over-generalizes on everything, but it's how I feel. I will also say that I think that perhaps to minimize costs people with higher, but malleable, risk factors for disease, such as obesity, should have to pay a higher premium or gap for their health coverage so that it's not the system that is covering for things that can be individually influenced. Some people will balk at this, but I think it will promote personal responsibility in areas where it can and should be taken, and alleviate it where people shouldn't have to worry.