Musings about life with national healthcare

I often wonder what it would be like to be able to just get my medication and treatment without the fuss of insurance, of having to figure out how to pay for it, of knowing I’ll be making a choice between meds and gas, or food, at times. I wonder what it’s like in countries that have national healthcare, where the stress of worrying over getting my needs met is at least mostly gone. Where I could walk to the pharmacy and get my prescription with just a small copay or no copay at all. Where my psychologist wouldn’t have to ask if I’m going to make a payment on my debt this time, and having to debate if I should work on my debt or buy gas to get to work. Where I wouldn’t have to reschedule with my psychiatrist because I can’t see her if I have a balance on my account, no matter the level of emergency.

What’s it like? I’m sure there are other stressors, there are always other stressors, but what’s it like to just… get the treatment you need?

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2 responses to “Musings about life with national healthcare

  1. I’m also in the US, but as I have a kid I qualify for insurance under S-CHIP. So I just get the treatment I need. Let me tell you, it’s about the only thing that’s making it possible for me to get my life back — after my last layoff, I hit such a bad depressive low, I could barely drag myself off the sofa. Sometimes I slept there because going upstairs to bed was too hard.

    Now I’m diagnosed, I have meds (no copay, even), I have biweekly therapy, I’m going back to school (yay financial aid) and, in a year or two, I might have some semblance of a productive life again.

    • I’m glad that you qualify for help! Medicaid is a wonderful thing! One of my former coworkers is pregnant, and qualifies now, and got a root canal for $3. I can’t even imagine how far back a root canal would set me… It was so hard when I didn’t fit anybody’s criteria. I guess you’re not allowed help to get better until you’ve hit rock bottom?

      This is in no way critical of you and your situation, it’s just something I’ve noticed. A lot of programs become instantly accessible as soon as someone has a kid, which is pretty messed up, if you think about it. It sends a message of “Can’t afford to live? Have a kid! Have a dozen! You’ll get food stamps, WIC, cash assistance, Section-8, Medicaid, and dozens of other benefit programs!”

      Shouldn’t we make programs available to people without children, so they can also better themselves and become productive members of society? Or are people only worth the investment when they’ve got dependents? (Not to mention, if you couldn’t afford to live *before* kids…)

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