Whew, time flies!

I thought I would be blogging practically daily after coming back from the states, but of course instead I’ve been busy and not spending much time online in a non-work capacity. My week, which started out looking quite blank and productive, got increasingly packed with meetings, including three really high-level things today that required a great deal of concentration. But generally I’m not sure where the hours have gone. Although I do know that I’ve been pretty productive lately, albeit in non-technical aspects of trying to regain control over my life, and more directly, the cluttered mess that is my closet-less flat. I had a massive re-organization of my wardrobes on Saturday (needed to be able to unpack and put away my recent acquisitions from Anthropologie!) and then on Sunday I decided to attack one of those projects that had been sitting staring at me for literally years, six crates full of files and papers from my grad school days that I had moved over here without sorting, due to the relatively fast circumstances of my relocation. Five of the crates are now gone, only one remains, plus a stack of papers that need to go into the office. I’m really on quite a kick at the moment, need to do my office next–booked time at work for next week and I’m hoping this time it will stick (I’ve tried twice before but things came up…) I even managed to go to the gym on Tuesday, and I plan to go again soon (although not tonight as I have a social outing with my new Minnesota friend planned… the perfect antidote to a day of high-level meetings!)

I’m annoyed at the American press at the moment, who are becoming as shrill as the locals. What part of this:

Half of all personal bankruptcies in the US are at least partially the result of medical expenses.

do people not understand? I have a short-list going of people who run on the Republican fringe and may not be my facebook friends for very much longer πŸ˜‰ And yes, as people keep asking me, I am indeed a fan of universal healthcare. I’ve tried both systems and believe me, the stress of finding bridging health insurance when you have a month between jobs AND you have a pre-existing medical condition is something no person should have to go through. No battered woman should be worrying about losing her insurance if she leaves her abusive husband. Health insurance should not be a preoccupation should you want to switch jobs or move locations or generally change your life circumstances. The system is broken, Americans spend too much on healthcare because it’s too much run for profit, so let’s stop complaining and do something about it.

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15 responses to “Whew, time flies!

  1. The thing that has struck me is that the US system gives people so little freedom of choice. The insurance companies set arbitrary rules and you have no right of reply. But people feel as if they DO have choice, and fear that socialised medicine would remove that. Puzzling.

    • Iota, exactly. I was completely hamstrung at more than one point in my adult life. I, at a point, knew exactly which companies offered short-term insurance for people in between situations and I had had several policies. But there was no choice. Only necessity.

  2. I entirely agree with you, NFAH.

    [There! Did you ever think you’d read those words? πŸ˜‰ ]

  3. I’m a Republican, but really, enough is enough. I’ve lived in Britain for over seven years now under a nationally run health service and it hasn’t turned me into a communist. In the US, it’s all about the Benjamins.

    • I suspect the issue itself is not that partisan, it’s just become so somehow. Republicans have been a bit tortured in recent years over larger vs. smaller government. I think any rational economically-driven party would be troubled over the US’s spending on health-care, it actually does not seem to follow a rule of “the open market will make things cheaper” when we spend twice as much as any other developed country when it comes to healthcare!

  4. I’m American. I’ve lived here a little over two years. The NHS has completely won me over. I am happy to stay in Britain just to continue taking advantage of NHS and, of course, 5 weeks of hols per year.

  5. I totally agree. The NHS has won be over too. The US needs a public option!

  6. > And for once, we can agree to agree!

    LOL, NFAH! πŸ™‚ [<- there doesn't seem to be a smiley for 'delighted chuckle'; that one will have do!]

    The equation 'government-provided health services = socialized = socialism = communism = removal of individual liberty = totalitarian state slavery' is one that not only Britain finds puzzling. In many free western-type democracies health is seen as a right, not a privilege; and the provision of healthcare by the government (or one of its agencies) is no more remarkable than the protection afforded by governments against fire, crime or foreign attack, or any of the other conventional protections and freedoms that governments would like to guarantee. Universal healthcare is, after all, an attempt to free the citizenry from impositions caused by accidents and illnesses.

    It also makes economic as well as moral sense: in general, the more disease and incapacity the state can protect its citizens from, the more the benefit to its economy. This latter consideration might cheer up right-wingers, and is one reason perhaps why even the most laissez-faire right-leaning of Tory governments in this country have never tried to dismantle the NHS.

  7. Can I make a note of the date that you and Howard actually were in agreement? I believe this is a first. Maybe it is because you are slowly being made British πŸ˜‰

  8. LOL, Kat! But seriously, I hate being in disagreement with NFAH (in fact I hate being at odds with anyone — which I suppose is much the same as saying ‘I wish everyone would agree with me’! But if they did, the world would be a boring place!)

    I do hope NFAH will not lose her Americanism if indeed she is ‘slowly being made British’. The best of Americanism is a wonderful thing, and I truly admire it.

    • I am sure that I, like many expats, would find my perfect world would involve a combination of the best of both worlds. I would like both universal healthcare and universal showers, single-tap sinks and single-payer health-care πŸ˜‰

  9. I agree with universal healthcare, but is the NHS the right model? I’m not so sure. Something, somewhere in between, but I’m not the one to work out the details.

    I also agree that we shouldn’t need to worry about bridging insurance. We were once in that position and my husband ended up in hospital with meningitis. It was costly, but unlike what many critics of the US system say, they did not turn us away because we did not have insurance. (A friend had suggested that if the ambulance driver asked “St. E’s or Northside?”, you should answer “Cleveland Clinic”, but we could not afford that.) He was treated and recovered, despite the rarity of the illness (only one previous case and that person died.) One consultant even waived the fee for a follow-up visit. We negotiated the hospital bill. It wasn’t a total hell, but neither is the NHS.

    • Agreed, the American hospitals do agree to treat you, it’s just the financial repercussions that can sometimes be a mess. I’m still lurching around gasping and holding my wallet over my 600-odd bucks owed for my Lyme Disease treatment when I was in the US in July. Especially because I knew what was wrong and only needed someone with an “MD” badge to give me the prescription for 28 bucks worth of antibiotics that took care of the thing.

  10. It’s interesting because I completely 100% agree with you, but I was talking to a British woman the other day who hates the fact she has to pay for other people’s health care. I didn’t know there were British people against the NHS. I guess they haven’t lived in America ever.
    My childhood best friend from Baltimore told me Obama’s healthcare reform scared her – and I think, God, if SHE’S scared, then what must the rest of ill-informed Americans think. Please pass this bill Obama.
    But like my British boyfriend says, he has to pass it or his presidency will stand for nothing….Let’s hope so.

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