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Whoa! It's Really Crazy Here in America!

Thoughts on returning from a short, eventful trip to the UK

No one at the NHS made me pay a penny before I left the hospital. I may eventually get a bill, as I was advised that Blue Cross “probably won’t” reimburse the facility for all they did because “we don’t have codes for procedures or for doctors.” (The NHS just has a per day charge, which for Blue Cross in the US, which is used to hospitals charging for every aspirin, simply doesn’t compute.) But I’m told my bill will be “not be that much” since, as a tourist suffering an emergency, I will be charged as would a British resident on the NHS.

I’ll say this about my experience with the NHS: my American doctors, both excellent, say my treatment in the UK was stellar, something you cannot always say about care in the US — especially if you’re poor or, god forbid, uninsured. But according to 2016 OECD statistics, Britain pays $3900 per person for that level of health care, which everyone has access to for free, while we in the US spend $9000 per person, and tens of millions of us can’t even get access to it at that rate.

And now our government is trying mightily to take medical coverage away from 20-30 million more of us…and still there’s no real revolution so far.

(Note: I am being assured that my condition is treatable, that my basic health is good, and that I should be back in good shape after a program of recovery is set up.)

story | by Dr. Radut