I'm a Brit, yes I live in the country with the evil, socialised health system that wouldnt have valued Stephen Hawking :)

I do think it likely that on each side of the Atlantic, there are misconceptions about how the other side's healthcare system works.
All I can say is:

* On my last visit to the US to see relatives in nice, suburban northern California, I got into random discussions with people and they volunteered information about difficulties cause by health crises post redundancy, or a couple years before Medicare eligibility, or decisions by insurers that a claim was ruled out because of a pre-existing condition.

* I had great difficulty grasping what they were telling me as I had never had to think about finance in relation to my health needs or my family's.

* The US reforms couldnt ever be the same as the British system, as the doctors trained here, however eminent, all trained in publicly owned medical schools and as a result, have a committment to the NHS even if they also have a private practice.All those over say 35 would not have incurred student debt as until 10 years ago students didnt pay towards their university education.They got grants to cover everything.

This documentary by 60 minutes was aired in March 2008, before the curren debate. Its on YouTube, so I'm assuming the subsequent parts of it are findable in the usual way.

Its about Remote Area Medical, founded by a Brit to do medical work in developing countries in remote areas without access to medical services. His organisation is now finding it has 60% of its work now in the US...which has the world's biggest economy.



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