As today is the Saturday of a precious long weekend, I’ll be brief, because I need more beer. For you, I’ll be brief because I’m no expert in today’s topic. But, I do have a reasonable amount of information and a whole lot of feelings. Oh, the feelings are not to be reckoned with.
On Thursday Paul (hey Paul) mentioned the OECD list of “happiest countries”. Last week I talked a little about women’s healthcare and reproductive rights (hey Wendy D.) and reading this list rallied the healthcare holyroller in me all over again.
Stuff about things: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org
The OECD’s ten happiest countries (2013 edition) are:
6. United States
10. United Kingdom
One of these things is not like the others!
All of these countries, except for the United States, have a universal healthcare system. Well shoot, no wonder they’re so relaxed. Yet there we are, America, sticking out of this top ten like a middle finger.
I know many hard-working people who have to purchase astronomically expensive limited health coverage (without mental health, vision, dental, other specialists, sometimes even sick visits) or opt to go unprotected because they can’t afford and/or justify the cost. Currently, I’m one of them.
We know that medical bills can be financially devastating to individuals and families. We know that untreated physical and mental ailments are devastating not only to individuals and families, but have dangerous implications for entire communities.
What is it that makes one worthy of affordable healthcare and protection from financial ruin? Being “hard-working”? Educated? Having the right job?
What would your quality of life be without your health?
Which woman, man, or child would you deny affordable healthcare? For what reason?
This subject deserves more discussion than this, of course. I understand it’s an issue more complicated than the passions it inspires- how MAD it makes me feel- I just can’t defend a government that faces these questions and has no fair answers.
In short, I scoff at your sixth place, USA. Can you hear me? Can you hear us?
(Special thanks to Paul for making me think about this. Happy Independence Day!)