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Health Care & Environment
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
Dual Citizen Speaks Out About British And American Health Care Systems
20 August 2009
As long as the US system ties health insurance to employment, the unemployed people of this country will be unable to get sick without being financially devastated.
I am English (and a dual citizen of England and the United States) and I am increasingly frustrated with the misinformation reported regarding socialized medicine. Several opponents of health care reform—including major conservative radio and TV commentators and several Republican politicians—claim that in England major surgery is not given to those over 59. This simply is not true!
My mother had open heart surgery at age 81, is now 88 and doing well. She received excellent care, and she did not wait three months for a specialist; her surgery was immediate. My cousin recently had heart and lung surgery; he is 70 and his surgery was immediate and successful. Unlike the United States, all people (particularly the elderly) are taken care of in England. Further, all English citizens do not pay for any prescriptions after the age of 60.
The biggest difference between their system and ours? Everyone has access to healthcare. Everyone. Comprehensive health care in England, like every civilized country except the United States, is considered to be a right of all people. Apparently, in the United States the people concerned about their rights don’t care that millions of Americans currently don’t have the same rights. I have observed that in the country people who oppose universal health care are quite selfish—'don't mess with my health care, but I don't care about anyone else having adequate health care.'
Opponents of health care reform probably haven't lost a job recently and lost their health insurance as well. As executive director of a major non-profit organization in the U.S., I see people every day who have been laid off, who need medication, and need care, but no longer have insurance and cannot afford to buy it.
What does it say about our U.S. system when the first question at the emergency room is not “what is the problem” but “do you have insurance?”
Are there problems with the system in England? Of course there are, just like there are problems with any other health care system. But: Is it acceptable for hospitals to turn away the uninsured? Is that the American Way? What does it say about our U.S. system when the first question at the emergency room is not “what is the problem” but “do you have insurance?” And don’t we all know someone who has cancer, is struggling with treatments and sickness, but must continue to work so that he or she won’t lose health insurance and can continue the treatments? As long as our system ties health insurance to employment, the unemployed people of this country will be unable to get sick without being financially devastated.
If our U.S. system is so superior, why is this country so low on the list of the healthiest countries? The U.S. spends the most on health care of any country in the world, yet is ranked only 11th in healthy population. Canada is ranked 8th and has the longest life expectancy in the world; they must be doing something right. Australia is ranked 6th; government involvement seems to work there too.
I am appreciative that my employer provides a health plan that I can buy into, and I am very satisfied with the quality of care that I receive and I hope that that quality will not be affected by change. But I cannot in good conscience support a system that excludes the unemployed and the underemployed and does not support the elderly.
Rita Inklovich attended college at the University of London and at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, grew up and worked in England, and is employed in the U.S.
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This story was published on August 20, 2009.