I wrote the first part of this at the beginning of January 2008, and after receiving 28,576 page views, and so many comments, I feel the need to write a second part, and let you know what has been happening in England compared to the U.S.
First of all my father, who is 94 is in a retirement home, which the government is paying for. It is a beautiful house overlooking the channel between France and England. When he is sick the doctor comes to the home, treats him, writes out a prescription, and the medication is delivered to the home.
Before he went into the home he had a fall and opened the top of his head. The ambulance came and took him to the hospital. He was kept in for over a week, then taken to rehab for 3 weeks, until a home was found for him. All of this was free, as he had paid into the system when he was working.
My son-in-law had Bells Palsy back in February of this year. When he phoned his G.P. about it he went immediately to the E.R. He was treated, and then had several doctor and specialist appointments. He even went back a week or so ago for a further check. No out of pocket expenses, as this was covered by the money that is taken out of his salary before he receives it.
About 4 months later he had 2 discs slip in his back. Again he had to see doctors and have tests. He had no worry as to how he was going to pay for it.
Two weeks ago my daughter found a problem that might have been cancer. She immediately saw her G.P., who got her an appointment straight away with a Consultant. That same day she had a mammogram and a sonogram. He thought that she may have to have surgery and explained everything to her. One week later she went back for the results. They look excellent, but he is still going to do the surgery as there is a slight chance of cancer. He told her that the surgery would be in 3 to 4 weeks. She got the phone call, and from day one until the surgery is two weeks in total.
These 4 health issues that my family have had have been dealt with immediately. Time was taken with them, they were treated with respect. They cannot praise the National Health System enough.
My grand-daughter has braces on her teeth, totally covered by the National Health System.
My husband Len has been in hospital twice this year. The first time was a heat attack on January 3rd. I took him to the E.R., and I have to say that they took him back immediately this time. We did all the paperwork while they were doing the tests on him. He stayed in hospital and had a further stent put in. This was a 3 day stay in an American hospital. The charges were $103,710.89, and Humana paid $8,805.91, and Len paid $375. Can you believe that if he hadn’t have had medical insurance we would have been responsible for the entire $103,710.89.
In July he had another heart attack and they believed that he had a blood clot, so into the hospital again for an overnight stay. Len was opened up but the blood clot had gone. The bill this time was $34,762.53, of which Humana paid $4,929.72, and Len’s part was $125.
Again we felt blessed that he is over 65 and has Humana.
I work 2 part-time jobs, and possibly a third one next week, and do freelance writing on four sites. Every penny I make I spend on my Blue Cross and Blue Shield premiums, my $2,500 deductible, and my prescriptions. At almost 63 I can’t wait to become 65 and go on Medicare and an H.M.O. I will then give up my 3 part-time jobs.
In England you never see a bill when you visit a doctor, specialist, or go to the hospital. The only charge you have is when you need pills. There is one price regardless of how much they cost. It is affordable, and no one goes without.
We hear horrifying stories about England, and I am sure that some of them are true. The worst one being that if you are 70 or over they don’t give a damn about you. My Dad is 94 and he gets excellent health care.
I will probably receive many comments again about why don’t I go back to England if it is free to me, and why did I come here in the first place. I love the American way of life, and the weather here in Florida. It keeps me poor, but it is still worth it. I am also getting close to 65 when it may not be free, but I won’t have to find that huge monthly premium.