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rob delaney @robdelaney
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Happy 70th birthday to the NHS! I moved to the UK 4 yrs ago after 4 decades using US health care. Was amazed at how easily I registered my family at our local GP. Quality care, free at point of use & £8 for prescriptions? Shocking to an American. #NHS70
My family pays £200/yr per person- the Immigration Health Surcharge & we pay UK taxes & National Insurance contributions as residents who work here. So it’s not free. But it’s free AT THE POINT OF USE. A critical distinction.
Back In 2002 I was in a car accident in the US & needed surgeries to fix broken bones. I HAD HEALTH INSURANCE. When I started generating large bills, my ins. co. dropped me & refused to pay the bills. This was pre-ACA (Obamacare) & was 100% legal for them to do.
I begged the insurance co. not to drop me. I begged them to let me keep paying them monthly premiums. They wouldn’t. I had around $50,000 in medical debt, which is peanuts compared to many Americans’ medical debt.
Some of the debt was sold to private collection agencies who harassed me. Some I negotiated down. $10K of it was paid for by NUNS IN KANSAS who looked for opportunities to pay off people’s medical debt. One hospital gave up chasing me.
I then had to get a job that provided health insurance as a benefit as I couldn’t buy it in open market since no ins. co. would sell to me now as an individual. Got a job at a terrible company that got delisted by NASDAQ for installing spyware on ppl’s computers.
I mention this as many ppl have their lives/dreams derailed by having to keep a bad/unsavory job just to keep their families’ health insurance. WHAT a drag on a country’s spirit to say nothing of its economy. Again my story isn’t one of the bad ones.
American health care is the # 1 cause of personal bankruptcy & is responsible for more collections than credit cards. Americans commit suicide because of medical debt. That’s what private, for-private health insurance does. Not really that healthy, is it?
Now my family’s in the UK due to my job. Don’t know how I’d really responsibly take them (and their human bodies) away from the NHS & put them back into the American system. Especially after the care our youngest son Henry received as he was dying of a brain tumor.
His cancer would have killed him wherever we lived - it was a nasty one - but since we were in the UK, we didn’t encounter additional financial stress during his illness. We never had to spend 3 hrs on the phone begging an ins. co to cover a vital MRI, etc.
So: fund the NHS. Fund social care to take some strain off the NHS. A social care worker stopping by your nan’s house costs exponentially less than a night in the NHS bed she’ll wind up in since there was no social care worker to visit her. I know this & I’m not even smart.
May explicitly admitted austerity was a CHOICE after Grenfell & again after her failed vanity snap election. This is why I’m a dues paying member of @UKLabour even though I can’t vote here yet. They started the NHS & they’re the party who values & respects it today.
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