I love reading other blogs. Friends. Strangers. It matters not. But I have a particular (and somewhat bizarre) love for blogs written by American Christian homeschooling mothers.
Except. When they get political, I tend to love them a little less. Which is all to say sorry. And if you feel the same way about politicky blogging, look away now.
Back when they were having their whole healthcare drama in the US, all the homeschooling blogs were shouting loudly about the evils of Obama-care and how it was clearly all another omen of the end times, I wasn’t really enjoying the hate. I wouldn’t presume to understand the ins and outs of the US healthcare system, but I did get a wee bit persnickety when they started disrespecting my beloved NHS.
The thing is – I think I probably used to take it all rather for granted. I went to the doctor and the dentist and the optician all through childhood and didn’t really think about it much, and then I went to South Africa. I had to get health insurance and it covered up to £15 a day for every day I needed to spend in hospital – only I had no idea whether that was too much or too little since I had never had to contemplate how much it might cost for one to stay in hospital.
In South Africa (and in America too I’m sure) there is an option for people who can’t afford health insurance – but it’s not good. In Jo’burg there are public hospitals, and as I understand it, if you can’t afford to pay they’ll treat you anyway. They have some excellent surgeons apparently, but the aftercare isn’t fabulous, and that’s always assuming you even get to the hospital in the first place, especially since the public-hospital-related ambulance stories I heard suggest that you’d probably bleed to death before it ever arrived (if in fact it ever did.)
And all this is not to slight the healthcare systems of other countries, but simply to hold up my hand and say that I appreciate mine.
I appreciate the fact that I can go to the doctor, whenever I want, and not worry about the cost.
I appreciate the fact that I got a childhood worth of dental work, orthodontic treatment and eye tests (not to mention vouchers towards many, many pairs of glasses) all for free.
And I very much appreciate the fact I will never have to worry about whether I can afford medicine, or a hospital stay, or even the cost of an ambulance to take me there.
I’ll also try very hard not to moan if I have to wait long in a queue. I think it’s probably worth it for the price.
The Yanks can say what they like about their own system, but if they start knocking the NHS again – heads will roll.
In summary: politicking done. For now. It is election week after all.