I want to take a minute and RANT against National Health Care, or “socialized medicine.”
I’m in Innsbruck, Austria, and woke up this morning with the realization I was losing the battle against the cold I’ve been fighting for a few days. It had advanced to fever and a feeling in my chest that suggested I call a doctor.
Turo Viers suggested one a few bus stops and a short walk away from my hotel. I called over to see if I could get in. It took a minute for the girl who speaks English to get on the phone, but after explaining my condition, she said “yes, come on in, no problem.”
I didn’t know if I could trust a medical organization that didn’t tell me they weren’t taking new patients, or that it would be at least three weeks before they could see me and I should go to Urgent Care or the Emergency Room.
Upon arrival, after taking my personal and passport information, they marked my file PRIVAT and informed me, that since I’m not Austrian, I would have to pay €46 cash after the visit, but they would give me a receipt so I could turn it in on my insurance in the US. She then told me to go on in the see the doctor.
This is ridiculous! That’s about 50 BUCKS and I get to see the doctor immediately? What’s going on here?
I waited in the doc’s office for a couple of minutes before she came in to hear about my symptoms. She listened to my chest with her stethoscope then told me she needed “just a little bit of blood,” and stuck me right then. She then took my blood down the hall to have a look.
I was sure THIS was where they were really going to rip me off, damn socialists!
She returned in less than ten minutes and gave me a prescription, and explained how to take the meds she’d prescribed. With a pleasant “auf wiedersehen” I headed back to the front desk to cash out.
The English speaking girl explained to me that because of the blood work, it would actually cost me €136.97.
I KNEW IT!! I KNEW they were going to screw me on this deal, this is what I mean by socialized medicine!
Wait a minute! I just paid $150 for EVERYTHING and I was in and out in less than 15 minutes. I’m sure there’s a scam in here somewhere.
I headed to the pharmacist to get my meds, knowing this is probably where they really stick it to you…antibiotics are expensive.
I handed my slip of paper with PRIVAT written across the top in BIG, BOLD LETTERS to the guy in the white lab coat behind the counter. He came right back with two boxes and explained how to take them.
Since I’m not in their insurance system, it cost me a total of…wait for it…€14.37.
I’m sure by now you’ll agree that this is NOT the type of system we need in the good ol’ US of A. We do NOT need a system that allows people of all income levels quick and affordable health care and medication. It’s SOCIALISM, and we all know how bad that is, right?
No way! Vote NO to socialized medicine.
Author’s Note: I lived in Austria from 2006 to 2010 and have many stories like this, like the time I had two lumps removed from my leg. The ENTIRE process, from the first doctor visit to the removal of the stitches, including x-rays, MRI, ultrasound, biopsy, 30 hours overnight in a hospital, anesthesiologists, and more, all cost me a total of, because I wasn’t Austrian, around $2500…and took only two weeks from discovery of lumps to discharge.
The Sequel to our story:
AUTHOR’s NOTE: this is a follow up to my previous rant against socialized medicine.
It was SUCH a relief to be back in the United States, still a little sick, and have the FREEDOM to call my doctor, and, unlike the Austrian Socialist doctor who saw me immediately, they waited more then 24 hours to return my call.
Tonight I read the story of how they are jailing people who can’t pay BIG PHARMA and the likes.
I’m SO glad I live in the richest country in the world, one that can afford to spend so much on weapons and walls, and not take care of the normal citizens who have the misfortune to have major illness, and inadequate insurance.
I say “just work harder...even though you may be sick, elderly, or misfortunate.”