Report from the field. Ashley Sayeau writes in the Guardian:
Wooed by healthcare lobbyists, Republicans love to berate countries like England and Canada for their bureaucratic healthcare systems – where, they claim, politicians not doctors make decisions! But the truth is that nowhere is healthcare more impersonal and de-medicalised than in America. And until the profit motive is removed (or at least challenged), it’s a lie to suggest that anything but money is determining the quality of care Americans receive.
It wasn’t until I arrived in England that I understood this completely. Thirteen weeks before my recent operation, I had given birth at the same London hospital. I was able to hold my daughter for maybe 20 minutes before the midwives and doctors discovered that I had a very serious and rare fourth-degree tear in my perineum. After the finding, I was immediately wheeled into surgery, where for the next three hours, I was stitched up by, I’m told, one of the best surgeons in the field.
Indeed there was nothing bureaucratic about any of it. Far from impersonal, I had repeated conversations with the surgeon himself about the injuries and the operations. The clinic’s nurse, a wonderful woman named Ann, held my hand through some seriously uncomfortable pre-operative exams. This Monday, her babysitter called in sick. I know because I talk to her all the time. Not once in any of these encounters did anyone bring up money. Not once was a politician present.