I had been a supporter of universal, yes, I’ll say it—socialized—healthcare long before I moved to Italy. Now that I’ve been here for a few years, I am officially a True Believer. I wish that every registered voter in the U.S. who opposes a national healthcare plan could experience just once the freedom and relief of going to the doctor, the hospital or the pharmacy and paying nothing or next to nothing for quality, modern care and medicine. I wish they could know the comfort of realizing that if they lose their jobs, they will still have healthcare. That if they become seriously ill, their medical expenses will be covered. That when they or their parents reach old age, they will never have to worry about how they’ll pay for medication or treatment.
I hear the naysayers make a lot of uninformed statements about universal healthcare, especially about how terrible it is in other countries, and how unhappy the citizens of those countries are with their programs. So here, I’d like to dispel some myths about universal healthcare as it works in the rest of the developed world (since the U.S., prior to October 1, at least, was the only developed nation without a national healthcare program):
WE DON’T ENVY THE U.S. To those people who still think the U.S. medical system is the envy of the world, think again. The rest of Europe can’t figure out why arguably the world’s leading nation still doesn’t have a comprehensive healthcare system to take care of its people. For the most part, we’re quite happy with the care we’ve got, thank you. And just let a group of angry politicians try to take it away from us—they’d be booted out of office sooner than you can say “Obamacare.”
WE’RE DOING JUST FINE, THANK YOU To those people who say, “Oh, socialized medicine is fine, unless you’re really sick,” wrong again. In four years’ time, I, members of my family or acquaintances have been treated, successfully I might add, for the following: