Sunday, May 04, 2008

Health Insurance In The U.S.

Today I watched Sicko by Michael Moore, and I was shocked by the things he reveals in this movie. Although I already knew how hard it is for a person to get health insurance, I never realized how bad it really was .

I was born in Portugal in a hospital out of town in a city caller Espinho, which translated to english means THORN. It is a great city don't take me wrong, but there, there are only two classes of people - the rich and the poor, really poor. The middle class is so poor that is conjoined with the poor class. Yet one day I asked my mother, how much she paid when I was born in 1975. She said: "I never paid anything. I was ready to leave after three days, I walked out."

It is interesting to say that this is still the policy for health care in Portugal. Just last week my mother spent two weeks in the hospital being treated for chemotherapy for two tumors she was dignosed four weeks ago. My mother walked out of the hospital last week, thank God she can already lift her left arm that was afected by one of the tumors and she is feeling much better. How much she paid, I aksed. She said it's the government who pays. Nothing came out of her pocket.

What I also don't understant is why the US being the richest country in the world, full of recourses, great practitioners, and technology, can't help its own people who pay taxes , SSI and Medicaire, deducted from their pay check every one or two weeks when they get paid, but they never get to use any of it. Most of Americans will die before they even use their retirement plans, if there is one, because they are denied medical attention.

The last itme I went to the hospital for a twisted foot, the doctor spent five minutes looking at my foot and asked the nurse to wrap my foot with a gause and gave me a cane and cream to help me walk. The following week, the bill arrived to the mail box. A $516.00 bill. $516 dollars for looking at my foot for five minutes . . . I could have done that myself - for free. I never cared to pay for that bill. It was a nonesense.

My problem was very simple, but I think of all those americans and non american who live in this country, work hard to keep it going, get hurt to keep its system going, but the system can't make them keep going. Health Insurance in America is a need, but those in power, make it a business. In Portugal we don't have medical insurance. I didn't even know what the heck that was when I came to this country nine years ago.

God forbid that I get sick and can't afford to be treated in this rich country. I rather pay a $1000.00 in a plane trip to Portugal and get treated for free, than to be slapped with a $200.000.00 bill for spending a week in the recovering room of the hospital and cared by expensive practitioners. This is why, America is in the 35th place of health insurance rank as of 2007 and I don't think it's going to get better. The government rather spend their millions in a stupid war, fighting terrorism in the wrong country.

I have to give Michael Moore an A+ on his movie SICKO, for revealing this truth about America. As an European, I'm scared. I'm considering moving into a country where I don't have to worry about healthcare, expensive rent and food price rises. May God have mercy on us.

It's Nothin'