Odds and Ends
21 5, 11:36am
"Which is also the reason why the US is the only western democracy that doesn't have universal healthcare coverage for all it's citizens"
Ok - I've seen that bit of misinformation in the comments so many times, and I'm gonna start correcting it. America DOES have universal health care for citizens..... and it even covers non-citizens. It is just not a single, universal program. Instead, we have laws that mean EVERY person in need of medical assistance gets treated - and in emergency situations - before even asking about money. Instead, America has an extensive and overlapping charity system. Yes, poor people with expensive and debilitating medical conditions are asked to pay everything they can before the charity kicks in. But... that is still getting millions of dollars of medical treatment for free! (And no, you don't need to go into debt if you manage your money responsibly and frugally for non-medial costs... like food and rent. (If you were living off credit cards to start with... then, of course, a medical emergency is gonna force you to bankruptcy))
We have FREE consultations by licensed practitioners at local pharmacies, and pretty much any minor/moderate medical condition can be effectively treated just with Over-the-Counter stuff. And oh yeah - America licenses a lot of stuff as Over-the-Counter. And did you know that many of the common prescription drugs are given out for FREE (and/or low cost) at my local Grocery Store/Pharmacy? (Its a "loss leader" advertisement for them) Not to mention Free/ Low-cost eye/dental clinics.
The downside, of course, is that you have to ask in person to access this free medical care. And sign up with paper forms for each program. And... the doctors don't have your medical history without mailing a request to your previous doctors (with a signed, paper form for each request). I can't point you to websites to prove my words because much of this "universal care" simply isn't online.