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Malus_Domestica
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

Joined: 21 Oct 2015
Age: 39
Posts: 142
Location: Scandiwegia

19 Mar 2016, 5:18 pm

So I recently started therapy for depression and anxiety, and in these days of presidential campaigns in the US I'd just like to share with you my story of how it's like to recieve health care in a social democracy, or as some people like to call it, "the Nordic utopia" (which isn't a utopia, because guess what, it's real). In this "utopia" I pay high taxes (about 38%), I have no medical insurance (I don't need it because of our free health care which is paid for by our high taxes) and I have already benefited twice from our healthcare and maternity leave systems by getting nearly a year paid leave from work for each child, as well as free prenatal and postnatal care (and of course the births themselves were free). I send my kids to an excellent kindergarten full-time which is heavily subsidised by the government so that both I and my husband can work full-time.

All right. I live in Norway, and for about a year and a half I've struggled with depression and social anxiety and finally agreed I needed professional help just before Christmas last year. So off I went to my doctor's, who listened carefully to me, asked me what kind of help I wanted, and gave me the options available. I chose to get a psychologist at the hospital, and to start on antidepressants. The waiting list for the psychologist was two months, so in the meantime I had several appointments with my doctor so she could see how I was doing. I felt very much taken care of.

In February I'd already gotten amazing results on my antidepressants, and even talked to my doctor about how and when I will get off them again, maybe in the autumn. I had my first appointment with the psychologist, who suggested I see her once a week, and now I've seen her five times. Now, in Norway we do have to pay a little for health care each year, but there's a limit - once you reach the limit, you get a card in the mail which entitles you to absolutely free health care for the rest of the year. It's now March, and I'm expecting my card any day now. The limit is around $240. Oh, and did I mention that my driving to my psychologist counts towards this limit? Yep. I get a slip of paper each time saying I showed up, and I then get reimbursed from the government.

Oh yeah, and my medication is extremely cheap. I'm on SSRIs and after the initial couple of weeks I got a packet of pills to last me 3 months. It cost about $15.

There was no considering what doctor to go see, or which psychologist, there was no worry about what kind of treatment my insurance would cover, there was no worrying whether I could afford all this, there was just exactly what I needed, when I needed it.

So why am I telling you this? Well, to show you how great free health care is. And to think about this when you go to give your vote. It's not an utopia, it's not about Nordic people being so unselfish that we pay high taxes so that other people get free stuff, it's so that I MYSELF get free stuff WHEN I NEED IT.

Vote for the good guy. Not the other one. You know the one.


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Noca
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Joined: 9 May 2015
Gender: Male
Posts: 3,859
Location: Canada

19 Mar 2016, 5:51 pm

Sadly many Americans are gamblers. They would rather gamble with their health and just hope that they will never fall through the cracks of their insurance coverage, or that they will never get sick in the first place. They see healthcare as about as irrelevant to them as volcano insurance. Too many of them have the mentality "if it is not happening to me, at this very moment in time, even if it may happen to me in the future, I DON'T CARE!".


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Trogluddite
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Location: Yorkshire, UK

19 Mar 2016, 7:29 pm

I have always been glad that we have free health care here in the UK - the National Health Service (NHS).

An interesting observation about the UK NHS is that it seems to be held in high regard even by members of the public who are otherwise supporters of laissez-faire capitalism in general. Even relatively right wing politicians only attack it indirectly by tinkering with policies, but few would dare publicly suggest that it should be scrapped, for fear of public outrage among even their own supporters. This differs greatly from my impression of the USA, where public vs. private health care seems to be a much more idealogical and controversial subject among the general public.


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Edenthiel
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Location: S.F Bay Area

19 Mar 2016, 10:45 pm

Noca wrote:
Sadly many Americans are gamblers. They would rather gamble with their health and just hope that they will never fall through the cracks of their insurance coverage, or that they will never get sick in the first place. They see healthcare as about as irrelevant to them as volcano insurance. Too many of them have the mentality "if it is not happening to me, at this very moment in time, even if it may happen to me in the future, I DON'T CARE!".

We are so amazingly dysfunctional that way.


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