Hijack: Medical care and misconceptions
Not at all stepfamily related, but Stargazer hit a nerve.
I HATE the term "socialized medicine". What a ridiculous, fear-mongering phrase.
Tell me, honestly, which you think is better:
a) You have to pay thousands of dollars a year for insurance, in addition to your taxes. You can probably get essential or non-essential surgeries right away. A large number of your fellow citizens don't have the money to get insurance and are deprived of proper medical care.
b) Your health insurance is included with your taxes, and therefore is dependent upon your income. You may have to wait a year to get a non-essential surgery, but essential surgeries will still be very prompt. Everyone in the entire country, regardless of the financial situation, has access to proper medical care.
No medical system is perfect, but I like the security of that I cannot be denied health care because I cannot afford it.
Here's an example of why I like our system:
About 20 years ago, a friend of my family had a triple bypass surgery. It cost him $2.55 (he wanted to upgrade his hospital lunch one day because he didn't like the free option that day). A few months later, on an airplane, he met a guy from the States who had the exact same surgery. He inquired of our friend "Can I ask how much yours cost? My insurance didn't provide me full coverage, so I had to pay some of my own costs."
He chuckled about the $2.55 bill the hospital asked him to settle upon going home, and he thought his seatmate was going to punch him... The other guy's cost $66000 and some odd. They had to sell their house and move in with their kids to pay for it.