Thursday, August 20, 2009

My two cents...

It's hard to avoid the news from the U.S. covering the town hall meetings and the heated debates over the future of our healthcare coverage. I'm saddened by the terror and fury and distrust that are broadcast by the media and I don't know whether the people shown represent a loud minority or an exaggeration of the viewpoint held by many Americans. I don't know all the details of the proposals- and it seems no one does- and I'm not prone to political rants. But I do have a few personal observations.

I worked in healthcare for almost a decade, primarily in a population of pregnant women but also with other adults and children. There is a clear lack of equality in the availability and coverage in our current healthcare system. It is just a fact. I've been thinking for years that things would have to change. I know that no plan can be perfect or please every single one of us, but there is clearly room for improvement.

My other observation comes from currently living in a country that has a socialized healthcare system. In a nutshell, it's okay. People aren't suffering and dying due to lack of healthcare. There do not appear to be widespread problems of access to medical care. When we applied for residency, we had to accept the public healthcare system or demonstrate coverage by a private insurer- they have both. In the year we've been here, we have known someone who had a baby, another person who had a complicated bone fracture, an elderly man who had a heart attack, a kid who broke a wrist playing soccer. All these people got timely and appropriate medical care. They are all alive and well. No one is killing Grandma. In fact, I've seen more active and healthy people in their 80s and 90s here than I ever saw at home.

We are right to keep a watch on our government and make sure that decisions made and laws enacted reflect the best interest of Americans. That's the great foundation of our country. But I think that no matter what comes of the healthcare reform, we'll be alright.

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