A friend of mine — an American who grew up in Georgia — has lived in Europe for several years. She struggles to understand U.S. fears of health care reform. In a recent message, she said:
I am sure the proposed health plan is not perfect, but I find the “hands off my health care” mania appalling. I hear it from people I love and respect who have been, I think, misled by rich fearmongers. I don’t live in American culture everyday anymore… I just watch it via the Internet and CNN. But, I did have the terrible job of shopping for health insurance for a small U.S. company once, and I worked in a U.S. hospital once, so I’ve seen those parts of the system up close.
I’ve had the blessing of living in what most Americans would call “a socialized medicine system” for seven years. People here can’t understand what all the fuss is about in America. Sure their taxes are higher here, but “we’re talking about health care,” they reason. If the US ever gets past “go”, changes can and will be made to improve the system.
And in another message:
Fear not, America! Today in Italy, I paid about $28 for three months worth of one prescription med and two months worth of another. That’s $28 total! Change can be good.