Tuesday, August 10, 2021

health care

These two graphs really say it all:


A few years ago I got a freak knee infection that landed me in the hospital. The experience was so smooth, non-stressful, and NOT followed up by months of fighting insurance companies over insane charges I had no way of knowing or avoiding ahead of time, that I decided in that moment that we would stay in Australia long enough to get citizenship and thereby always have access to Australian medicare. Matt has twice needed an ambulance*, and we had a baby, and we've made countless same-day appointments for minor ailments, and each of those experiences has made my mind boggle at how well it works and how we ended up in this magical place almost by accident.

The pandemic has re-affirmed that many times over. Life has been basically normal since last July, the economy is healthy, and while certainly things are far from perfect, 600,000 lives in the USA alone would have been saved if they had achieved our death-per-capita rates, so I'm not complaining. More generally, of course there are problems, big problems in fact, with the system, but the gulf between the system here and the system I used to put up with in the US is so vast that there is no question whatsoever which is better. I wish so much that my friends and family could live with the same peace of mind. And that I could convince more Americans to come visit for a few months because that's how little time it would take for even the most stubborn among them to realize what they're missing out on.