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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 01:47 AM
Original message
Europe Gloats Over America's Belated Health Care Reform
Europe Gloats Over America's Belated Health Care Reform

Europeans are gloating this week. The continent might be struggling with ballooning debts, a faltering euro and national strikes, but when the U.S. House voted in favor of President Barack Obama's health care bill Sunday night, March 21, Europeans seized the moment to thumb their noses at Americans and remind them that they've had pretty good health care for decades.

"On Sunday evening the richest, most powerful country in the world, the USA, finally entered the 20th century. Yes, not the 21st century, but the 20th," read an article published Monday on the popular French news website Rue89.com. The site also posted a copy of TIME's cover from Nov. 24, 2008, showing Obama as a contemporary Franklin D. Roosevelt, below which it placed a cartoon of Obama on the phone to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, saying, "Hi, Nicolas, how's your health?" The Dutch daily De Volkskrant noted that the change was a long time coming: "Where health care was until now a closed privilege, Obama and the Democrats have made it a law," read an article in the paper Monday. "One of the most important differences between America and other industrialized countries has finally been lifted."
(See pictures of Obama discussing his health care plan.)

Europeans have long expressed dismay at the fact that millions of Americans have no health insurance, and tales of American suffering are always in the media. One such article appeared in Monday's edition of Le Figaro, France's biggest morning paper, which focused on a young woman who is dying of breast cancer in New York City's Bellevue Hospital because she had no health coverage and didn't get her diagnosis in time. "She might live to see President Obama sign the law, but she won't benefit from it," the article said.

In Europe, voters demand that their governments offer good public services including decent education and medical care and regularly vote them out of office when they fail to deliver. Taxes may be slightly higher in Europe, but medical fees are heavily subsidized by governments and are drastically cheaper than they are in the U.S. The French, for example, pay a fixed $30 for a doctor's visit and proposals to raise that fee even a few cents can ignite national protests. And in most of Europe, insurance companies are barred from rejecting applicants because of pre-existing conditions.



Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1974424,0...
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 02:25 AM
Response to Original message
1. what we have, and we are going to have, is a fucking bad joke
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Teaser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 06:11 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. nope.
.
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. yup
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area51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. +1 (n/t)
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. By comparison to what they have it certainly is
but they can't wrap their heads around our system. I've been talking to an Aussie friend this week who still can't believe that people actually die from lack of health care in the "most powerful Nation on Earth". He writes:

"I pay about $1600 per annum on health insurance (I'm on the premium cover), and this paid for my knee reconstruction, dental bills, physiotherapy etc. I cannot believe the cost people are paying for their health insurance in the USA - and that's the strongest country in the world! What i can't understand is hearing stories in the usa about people being denied medical care because they dont have insurance- is that true? Here, Health insurance companies are so keen on keeping their clients here that they gave me five hundred dollars free medical care after being with them five years. I busted my knee cap from my new zealand holiday, and so far, all physio sessions have been free. Are you a democrat or republican? I have American friends here and whether democrat or republican, they generally think that there is a level of corporate greed that has been able to permeate into corporations and affect the country's policies. Health care is the biggest example, i guess."

This friend also takes two months of paid vacation a year and travels the globe doing all sorts of risky sports that most of us would never attempt. Life is completely different for those in civilized societies.
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HillGal Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #12
32. I also have an Aussie friend who had to wait 6 months to have her tumor removed. NT
NT
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sudopod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #32
39. We have a rationing system too.
If you have money, you get a ration.
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HillGal Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. My Mother is considered poor, she lives with me, and she had surgery right away
when she had to have her gallbladder removed, it wasn't urgent but had it within a short time of her gallbladder attack. I don't consider a 6 month waiting list for a tumor removal something we should aspire too.
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sudopod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. There are dozens of industrialized states with universal healthcare.
We don't have to emulate the one you want to use as a straw man, and we sure as hell don't need to keep the system we have.

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HillGal Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. Who's denied treatment if they need it? and when is my insurance premium going to be cut $2,500? NT
NT
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
 
Ter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #12
45. Tell me where in America anyone has been denied medical care
Edited on Fri Mar-26-10 01:10 AM by Ter
I had no health insurance and have been treated for non-life threatening things (stitches, poison spider bite, etc.). Never once was I turned away. Paying $1,600 per year is amazingly high. No thanks.
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. me. turned away from two hospitals in Indianapolis.
the third hospital accepted the insurance I had, the first two wouldn't.
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Ter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #46
55. What was it for if I may ask?
Every time I went I was asked for my insurance, told them I didn't have any, and I was taken. Also, mine were not emergencies. The three times I needed stitches I could have gotten away without them (although I likely would have had nasty scars).
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newspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. I just cited two incidents that happened in Las Vegas
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
17. What we have going here is nothing more than a Mafiaso
of insurance and big pharma companies aided and abetted by the greedy.
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HillGal Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #17
31. When are my premiums going to go down $2,500? my increase starts on April 1st
my premium is up to $720 and it goes up about 18% each year, so is it going to go down $2,500 in 5 years? when at that point my premiums will be well over $1,000 a month?

How is this new health bill helping me now?
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #31
54. Why don't you READ the bill first
instead of regurgitating RW talking points.

http://www.kff.org /

There are hundreds of articles with facts about the bill, including a calculator to see how it will affect you.
The only thing that doesn't exist appears to be a place to whine, however.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
22. House Majority Whip Clymer today came right out and said it's a
Republican bill - basically the same legislation proposed by Dole back in the 90's. No wonder it's a POS. If this is the best our Democratic Congress can come up with, we're truly fucked.
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newspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #22
50. actually, it's the Heritage Foundation Bill
Coming directly from the right wing devoid of thought tank. Wait until they present what they got cooking for Social Security and Medicare. If you love this bill, you'll crow for the "*'s wall street friends need even more of your money" Social Security bill.
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HillGal Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #1
30. Bravo! People don't seem to get that at all, care is going to be worse and we'll be paying more for
worse care.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #30
44. Why do you think care will get worse?
My hubby is a family doc and the care he gives his patients will not change. It is past my bedtime so I may be missing something. If so I apologize.
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newspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #30
52. well, care will be the same
you've just been mandated to pay the middle man for that care. Will prices for the insurance bloodsuckers go down? That remains to be seen.
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 02:37 AM
Response to Original message
2. American doctors only make a few hundred dollars an hour. Poor guys and gals.
Won't someone think of their self-entitlement to act like children?

Wait, is that not how that line goes?
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 05:13 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Most European docs have their education paid for by the government
Therefore there is no rational reason for them to act like moneygruppbers.
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newspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
53. That needs to be reiterated
In most of Europe, medical education is subsidized by the government. See, if I was a poor student who really wanted to help people and had some smarts, I'd have my education funded by the government. It's not the same in the good ol' US. Yes, there are some scholarships and grants, but not enough, and some don't pay enough.
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 05:49 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Do you have any accurate idea at all of how much it costs
to educate and train a doctor? How many extra years they have to spend in school so that they don't kill you when they treat you?
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Jeff In Milwaukee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 06:00 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Especially for family practice and general practitioners....
Those who go into specialties have the ability to command huge salaries. Those who practice family medicine make much less than you'd think, and they all have student loans to pay off. It's not "Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous" by any stretch.
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 12:47 AM
Response to Reply #6
19. Cost is not value.
How much does it cost to train and educate a US doctor, vs. a UK doctor, vs. an Indian doctor, vs. a Cuban doctor?

They're all doctors, trained to work on humans, and yet, the costs vary.

Absurdly.
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 04:09 AM
Response to Reply #19
24. Try to be a doctor without the cost.
It won't happen. If you want doctors to be able to work for less you better start paying taxes to pay for their education and office equipment.
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #24
48. You dodged my point.
Is becoming a doctor a flat cost, or does it vary by society?
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. The two GPs I know personally take home about 65k per year after taxes
their out of pocket expenses for their practices are astronomical.
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 12:44 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. 75% of the US makes less than $50K.
So, they're doing pretty well for themselves, and are in the top 25% of earners.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #18
35. 75% of the US doesn't graduate with $100,000 worth of student loans either.
Becoming a doctor is an incredibly expensive career choice, and student loans can't be discharged through bankruptcy. They have to pay that debt back, which requires more money.

Civilized nations either fully or partially subsidize the cost of training their doctors. We don't, and demand a "free market" solution. The free market requires that doctors make enough to pay back their huge loans AND cover the rest of their living expenses.
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 04:54 AM
Response to Reply #35
47. Last I saw, the average doctor income was 200K a year.
So, they can live incredibly rich for one year on $100K, and pay off their loans in a year, or spread it out over more years.

That's not to say that we shouldn't subsidize medical education, but to point out that the rich don't require our pity.
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HillGal Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 12:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
33. Actors make 20 million for making a movie, which is more important? NT
NT
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 05:13 AM
Response to Original message
3. They might have gloated even more if we had rejected "belated health care reform".
"Where health care was until now a closed privilege, Obama and the Democrats have made it a law,"...

"One of the most important differences between America and other industrialized countries has finally been lifted." - hope they're right

"The French, for example, pay a fixed $30 for a doctor's visit and proposals to raise that fee even a few cents can ignite national protests. And in most of Europe, insurance companies are barred from rejecting applicants because of pre-existing conditions." - most?
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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 05:17 AM
Response to Original message
5. "USA, finally entered the 20th century. Yes, not the 21st century, but the 20th"
Nice!!
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
11. they do have a point...
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Jackeens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
14. I haven't detected any 'gloating', to be honest....
...just an unremitting bewilderment that in the 21st century America still has a 'survival of the fittest - and **** the rest' attitude to healthcare.
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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. it's not just healthcare though
a lot of people seem to have the same attitude towards others no matter what it is: healthcare, jobs, food, a place to live. If you're poor or strugglng, you're either lazy or worthless or both.
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:52 PM
Response to Original message
15. We are Europes example of what not to do. Your welcome Europe!
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Phx_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
16. What, are they five?
:eyes:
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denimgirly Donating Member (929 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #16
21. They're right, that's what they are.
Just saying.
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denimgirly Donating Member (929 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 02:13 AM
Response to Original message
23. Curious: How is it that Europeans can "regularly vote them out of office when they fail to deliver"
Edited on Thu Mar-25-10 02:15 AM by denimgirly
I admire the peoples willpower to get things done...something that is lacking in Americans clearly. I am curious as to how they get this energy? Are corporations treated as people as they are in America where American corporations and their lobbyists routinely corrupt politicians and have the politicians vote in their favor every time, completely ignoring and demoralizing their constituents year-by-year?

It seems to me that Americans have lost respect for government and have come to believe that nothing changes so why try. This mentality benefits special interests and so maybe this is why America is so behind everyone else.
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win_in_06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 06:54 AM
Response to Original message
25. Americans have a different collective mindset that Europeans
After all, our ancestors are largely those Europeans who decided to LEAVE Europe.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. Americans have a more dumbass mindset than Europeans do.

Many of them are into cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Even if they themselves don't have health care, they don't want (insert name of group here) to have health care paid for by THEIR tax money.



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win_in_06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #26
27. I wouldn't characterize it as dumb, just different
When I lived in Europe, most people I knew were puzzled about the whole lack of universal health care, and also couldn't understand why anyone would want to own a gun. To them, University education is "free", though the government has a say in what you can major in.

Although they didn't like it, they readily accepted paying up to 50% of their income as taxes.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
28. Wow, Europe must be one giant douche... nt
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
29. Those damn Europeans and their EVIL Socialism!!!
How could their citizens fall for such vile tricks!! :sarcasm:
"voters demand that their governments offer good public services including decent education and medical care"

Satan I say, SATAN!! :eyes:
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Waiting For Everyman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
34. Gloating? What an enlightened attitude!
This kind of attitude does not make me admire Europeans. On the contrary. They always like to talk about our "ugly" characteristics, but fail to notice their own.

Nice solidarity with us fellow working people of the world. :sarcasm:

The critique from the sidelines is worthless self-congratulating hot air. No surprise there, it's the usual response to any issue. I remain unsold on their high opinion of themselves.
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Jackeens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. There are NO examples of 'gloating' in that article, none!
Edited on Thu Mar-25-10 01:24 PM by Jackeens
Look at the quotes in the article:

Rue89.com: "On Sunday evening the richest, most powerful country in the world, the USA, finally entered the 20th century. Yes, not the 21st century, but the 20th."

De Volkskrant: "Where health care was until now a closed privilege, Obama and the Democrats have made it a law. One of the most important differences between America and other industrialized countries has finally been lifted."

Der Spiegel: "It was a scandal that the world's richest country for so long offered its citizens such pitiful protection against illness or injury. It seems entirely possible that, in 10 years time, Americans will find it hard to believe that they didn't always have the right to health insurance."

Le Monde: "A Victory....(the President) succeeded where his predecessors have failed."

Where is the gloating? The headline is utterly misleading.
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burning rain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
37. Cheer up, America.
Edited on Thu Mar-25-10 02:11 PM by burning rain
You may have gone a little bit down the road to cursed socialism, but you can still pride yourself on your rugged individualism. You have less and in many cases no paid vacation, paid maternity and sick leave, whereas those lazy shirking Europeans have made generous benefits a matter of law. Less job security, less union protection, and lower benefits if you lose your job. More getting gouged when you go to college. Sure, it's a worse life, but you do it on your own, and that's what counts, right?
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craigmatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-25-10 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
38. We still lack alot of what they have (universal care). They still gave government run care and all
we have is private care that's now widened to include more people.
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newspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-26-10 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #38
51. if you can still afford it
My friend's daughter was an exchange student in Spain--she was ill, they called the doctor, he came to the house. After treating her, her daughter attempted to give him her insurance information and he told her there was no need. I was amazed--he made a house call (so that the patient wouldn't expose others) and he wasn't collecting from her insurance.

Also my hubby's cousin (right wing) married and moved to Canada--he just visited here-said he felt secure now having canadian health-he didn't have to worry about health care, especially as he gets older.
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