Friday, January 3, 2014

Don't Get Sick Here

The United States, one of the richest countries in the world, has state of the art medicine and medical facilities - for the richest people in this country. Try being poor, or better yet middle class, and find out that medical attention may cost an arm and a leg. 

A group of friends were talking recently and one woman recounted that her mother lost her home when she had to sell it to pay for medical bills. An Irishwoman in the group was horrified; in the British Isles that would never happen.

Granted that in countries with socialized medicine, a sick person might have to wait for months to get an urgent test requiring specialized high tech equipment. Not a good deal either. But in these countries, private policies are also available for more flexible care and they don't cost the equivalent of rent or a car payment plus insurance.

Now that Obamacare has set in, the situation should theoretically improve. But God help the computer illiterate. Or worse yet, those short on patience or time. One must be a person of leisure and saintliness to navigate the many phone numbers given that lead to the wrong department - and that is after waiting on the phone on hold for an hour listening to the schlock muzak that loops over and over and over and over. 

Mind you, being the resident of many African nations or other massively poor/war torn countries may insure you no medical care at all, especially for deep-country dwellers and deep-city impoverished peoples, i.e. Congolese refugees in South African townships or the 8 million Syrian refugees. So Americans shouldn't really complain.

It's just hard to watch the disorganization and lack of funding when it comes to the care of human beings, as this country is awash in a sea of plenty. It's not only perplexing; immoral would be a better term.

But since the world is gradually evolving into a global economy with its concomitant environmental impact (for the worse at the moment), let's hope that the trend towards globalization morphs into worldwide care for each other. Afterall, we live on a small planet.

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