Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The wonderful Anne from over at Muse Mama had her new baby boy, Liam, last week.  (Congrats, Anne and family!  *waves*)  Liam was born early, and the story can be found on her blog.  She updated her Facebook a few days later, saying her insurance company wouldn't cover a breast pump.  An article was posted on Facebook about a man who robbed a bank for a dollar, just to get health care in jail.

I hate seeing posts like this.  Hate is a strong word, but it's true.  I hate it because I feel so bad for them.  The reason?  Insurance.  If you don't have insurance, it can cost you anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars to get the treatment you need.  Even with insurance, chances are it will cost you something.  This is something, as a Canadian, that I just don't get.

When I had Brianna, we walked out of the hospital without paying.  Without owing.  No one handed us a bill.
When Sean bashed is head last Yule, he went to the ER bleeding like mad and got stitches, pain killers, etc. and wasn't handed a bill.

It was payed for, because we all pay a little bit extra in taxes.  A small amount, constantly, throughout the year.  And yes, it is a moderately socialist system.  The rich pay a little more, the poor pay a little less.  It's pooled together, essentially, and when someone needs a treatment it comes out of that pool.  When we need treatment, it is there.  If Brianna broke her arm and we had to go to the ER today, she would need x-rays and pain meds and a cast.  We would walk out owing nothing.

Maybe socialist isn't the right word.  Maybe we are more humanist.  Intellectually, I understand the American system.  I just don't understand why it hasn't been fixed.  Doesn't everybody, regardless of income level, deserve health care?  Even the homeless man who robbed the bank for a dollar would be covered up here.  Race, colour, creed or income...everyone is covered.

I know this can be a touchy subject, but still.  What do you think?  What do we as Pagans think, coming from a place of such equality?  Let me know, just keep it respectful!

Goddess Bless,



  1. Stacy, I can't begin to describe my frustration with the American healthcare system. I think that food, healthcare, access to clean air and water, and reasonable shelter are all human rights. Unfortunately, Spencer's "survival of the fittest" in society (often mis-attributed to poor Darwin) has been extremely popular in the U.S., especially among the elite. All I can do is continue to urge my elected officials to act in a compassionate manner and vote for the good of all rather than just their campaign donors.

  2. I honestly hate the system here in America. We pay insurance for everything and even then, most of the time we owe something out of pocket. Everyone is up in arms about "Obamacare" and trying to stop the move to a hopefully better healthcare system. (Will it be? I don't know.)

    So many people can't afford healthcare. I honestly blame it on greed. Everyone wants to hold on to their precious money. No one wants to help those who truly need it. J busted a tooth a few months back. He doesn't have the money to get it fixed. We have a 2k emergency room bill from October that we haven't been able to pay on. I've been a student and he's unemployed (not for lack of trying, mind you.)

    The welfare system in America is awful. I've heard so many stories of people who are on welfare that are on welfare so they don't have to work. They have iPhones and Coach hand bags... There are some people who are on it that legitimately need it. Hell, my fiancee and I aren't on it and we could probably use it.

    Something needs to change down here in the states, and fast.

  3. Can I move in with you? I work in a pharmacy, as you probably know already, and I see so many people abuse our system that it makes me sick. My mother, who has a degenerative disease, is having to work for as long as she can because insurance companies have labeled her with "a preexisting condition" which makes her ineligible for heath care. WTF? I mean really? That is just so stupid. I really really hope that the American government could get over themselves and just go to social health. I'm going to get off the soapbox before it turns into a rant.

    <3 Freckles.

  4. Well I'm in the UK and the whole world knows how passionate we are about the NHS. It isn't perfect I'll admit, but it is there when you need it. Like you said: when your son has a head injury there is no way in hell you should be left worrying about how you're going to pay for his treatment. Denying a person help when they need it goes against all the principles of humanity as far as I am concerned and asking people to pay for life saving treatment is taking capitalism a step too far as far as I'm concerned.

    As far as looking at things from a Pagan pov I think we as a collective are fairly lucky in that some of us at least have knowledge of ancient remedies that mean we don't always have to take a modern medical route. I would advise everyone to try and know at least a little herbalism to save them time and money.

  5. Well, you already know my thoughts on it... When you lose your job because you can't afford to get your heart fixed, there is something wrong here. My dad is one of those idiots that thinks a "socialist" health system is a bad idea... and tried to tell me that people in canada and england hate it to, says things like "They need to wait months for an appointment because when everyone can go the doctors are too busy".

    I kinda just stared at him in silence after he said that. Over the phone stared at him.
    Then said "huh, my friends really seem to like it. They never seem to wait too long, and can't imagine feeling like your having a heart attack, or thinking you might have broken your arm, and not being able to see a doctor... huh, guess they just don't see how good we have it".

    I'm kinda a smartass, you know...

  6. Hi. I just came across your blog and am liking it a lot. Here's my rant, for what it's worth...

    How can we live like this? The health care system is just another part of the whole privatization scheme that's pretty well complete in the US by now, after decades of subversion by the right wing. And as I understand it, Canada, Australia, UK and other countries are going in the same direction now, so don't get too confident.

    The question is how we got this way, because it wasn't always like this. After decades of political and economic warfare, corporations have gained control over the health care system from insurance to delivery, and their mandate is to make money, not provide service. To these corporations, humans are nothing but a resource to be exploited for the profit of the industry. In the case of the health care industry, our bodies are resources to be exploited. Our illness is a boon to them. Why would they structure their system to keep us well? Where would be the profit in that?

    Why do people accept this? I don't know. Nobody I know does. It crept in slowly over time before it got to this point. But by now the corporations have such a powerful hold on the politicians that they won't change it; and the corporations also own the media, and pay for "political movements" that encourage people to fear and to scapegoat other citizens and believe all kinds of absurdities and not see the truth, so their energies are diverted from working for change; and they own the Supreme Court too, which is packed by now with persons of dubious ethics, and the basic principles of the Constitution are steadily eroded in favor of corporate interests.

    Under these circumstances, most reasonable people are depressed and hopeless, or lost in addictions of various sorts, and don't vote so the extremists get out the vote and "win" -- and when they don't, the corporation-owned -and- controlled voting machines (one of many pieces on the gameboard) can always be used to swing a close election, and that has happened repeatedly. Honest liberal politicians seem to die in a lot of small plane crashes, too, and though you can't prove anything it's disheartening to keep losing them over the years. We fear for the few uncorrupted ones that we have.

    It's a mess and there doesn't seem to be any way to fix it unless people will wake up somehow and have a mass movement that in some way overpowers the control of the corporations over the politicians and the media and the voting machines by sheer numbers, but so far they haven't done it. For a long time it's seemed to me as if some evil spell of delusion has swept the whole country and people are lost to reality. But maybe that's just how it looks because it's all the corporate media show us.

    Insurance is so expensive it keeps you poor, and doesn't really provide full coverage when you need medical care; one or two incidents in a year will wipe out your savings even if you have insurance; and personally I'm just glad I live in a Death with Dignity state so I can at least "just say no" to prolonging the misery if I get a terminal diagnosis. Really.

    The alternative is to live in another country but I decided a long time ago to stick it out here for better or worse. Right now it's worse. And ever since the Coup of 2000 Americans have been emigrating in droves, to the point where other countries are imposing quotas, I've heard. As for Canada, I considered that once but learned I was too old under your system. I guess you don't consider wise elders sufficiently productive or useful to your society.

    All I can tell you is, fight like all get-out to keep the corporations from taking over your country. It can happen anywhere. They're transnationals now and don't respect any national boundaries, laws, or customs. They'll colonize anyone they can get their hands on.

    Blessed be and keep the good spells going.

  7. Wow, I didn't expect to get such a response! I love it! Thank you all of your opinions. Freckles, of course you can move in with me!

    Christine, there *is* talk up here of privatizing a few more sectors of health care, as some of them already are. It has been a huge debate for years, and a lot of people are fighting it. I'm not confident at all, but I am hopeful. Thank you for your insight on the American system, as an someone on the outside looking in it can be hard to figure. As for your other comment, I do actually consider wide elders to be a wonderful part of our society, even if you imply I do not. Perhaps my country doesn't, but that is their loss.

    Thanks for all the comments, everybody! :)