Heathcare – A Global Citizen Perspective

In honor of the Supreme Court decision today I thought a quick post was necessary.

As you readers know I rarely fall into the same old boring talking points of the right or the left but try my best to give you something unique, something from a global traveler perspective.  Well, I’m pleased to let you know I won’t fail you with this post.


I tell you the truth I had never really thought about it.  I was a young healthy adult and planned to stay that way.

After I graduated college and was out on my own I first went to Japan.  I didn’t think about  healthcare in Japan.  The only time I had to go to the doctor was when it was required to work out in the gym at Waseda University.

Yep, you heard me right, I had to go get a health check before I could work out in the weight room at Waseda.  So, I made my appointment and went to the doctor.  He told me I was healthy, I got my note and was able to workout in the gym.  I don’t even remember how I payed for it.

Actually, I think I was required to go to the doctor one more time in Japan although I forget for what.  Good news is I had already been paying into their national healthcare so I just got to see the doctor and leave.  Again, I didn’t think anything about healthcare.

After Japan I went to live in Vietnam.  As half of America knows Vietnam is Communist.  Did I think about healthcare in a communist country?


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If I was going to think about healthcare, this would probably have been the best place in the world to think about it!  You see, there isn’t much to do in Saigon except go to the bar and, um, other things.  If you’re a local you’ll hop on your motorbike after the bar and drive home.

Do you see the problem here?

Yes, sometimes people drink to much and crash.  Back in 2004 helmets were not yet required in Saigon and the expat community lost about 1 or 2 members a year to heads hitting the pavement.  For those that did survive they got air lifted to Thailand at the cost of about $40,000 dollars because Vietnam really does not have the ability to deal with such head trauma.

I don’t mean to get into the extremes here, I just wanted to point out that if I were to ever have healthcare, I probably would have wanted it in Vietnam.  I did not.

So what did I do?  Well, I just payed upfront because it really wasn’t that expensive.  Every expatriate is going to have to visit the doctor sometime or another due to various issues.  One of those issues is diarrhea that does not stop.  If you spend any amount of time in Vietnam you’re going to get some strange bugs in your intestines and they do not just go away.  So you have to go to your doctor and pick up a dose of your best friend Cipro.

I met my doctor through a mutual Vietnamese friend.  The doctors name was Mark, but our Vietnamese friend always called him “Mark Doctor.”  So, from then on he was Mark Doctor to me.

I would just call Mark Doctor up and say “Hey Mark Doctor, I got the shits!”  I’d go down and see Mark Doctor who would write me up a prescription for Cipro, I payed about $20 and off I went on my merry way.  Other times you will get strange fevers and rashes.  I’m not sure what I had one time but it totally knocked me on my ass.  Again, what did I do?  “Hey Mark Doctor, I FEEL like shit!”  I popped down to see Mark Doctor and he fixed me up with a nice prescription for another $20.

I think those were the only times I saw the doctor in Vietnam for medical issues.

Sooooooooooo, I then come back to the United States and healthcare seems to be the most important issue in a century.  Having access to healthcare almost seemed even more important than having food or shelter!  The overriding thought seemed to be that if you do not have healthcare YOU WILL DIE!

I really couldn’t understand why everyone was making such a big deal about it.  I think it had something to do with politicians and the political shows getting everyone all worked up.

Well, I quickly found out what the fuss was about when I went for a routine teeth cleaning.  The first thing they asked me was if I had insurance.  I said no and I swear the receptionist looked as though the world was going to end.  I realized this and told her I would just pay out of pocket, all I needed was a simple cleaning.  The receptionist made me feel like some kind of leper and I knew then, I was an outsider, an outsider due to no insurance!

I started to get my cleaning and before I knew it the dentist was telling me about all the special services they provide such as whitening and other various cosmetic treatments.

Hell Doctor, I didn’t ask for a sales pitch, I just wanted to get my teeth cleaned!

I declined and we wrapped up the cleaning.  I payed about $120 and was quite shocked about how expensive the USA is.  It was at this point that I started to think a little about healthcare.

With my first job I was given some healthcare cards, a bunch of reading materials and e-mails about three times a week telling me that something or other with my healthcare plan had changed.

I exaggerate you not, these e-mails came at least once, if not three times a week telling me to review my plan and the changes that had been made.  I thought that these must be some lawyer tinkering with this word or that and so out of hundreds of “updates” that I believe I had received, I looked at a total of none of them.

Then Obama comes around and gets elected.  The healthcare debate REALLY heats up then!

****** Warning***** About to get into the good stuff*************

Now we have the Right bitching and moaning while the Left is celebrating.  Everyone is talking costs, constitutionality, individual rights and other things.  For me though I just see the following.

A rather large portion of Americas are fat and unhealthy.  Just take a quick look at the CDC statistics.  Why?  Well, we have a culture whose main reason for existence is to make money.  Sell the people more food, sell them more drugs to combat the obesity, sell them more insurance to cover the costs when they need to go see the doctor for being unhealthy.

‘Unhealthyness’ is a bonanza for many many industries who have a vested interest in keeping people unhealthy.

So they go to the doctors and if the doctors do not do everything perfectly then there are the lawyers who also make money on people being unhealthy and the doctors making mistakes.  Now we have litigation which also drive up premiums because the doctors now have to run many many unnecessary tests just to cover themselves from being sued.

In fact, the number of doctors running their own practice has been severely decreasing!  Now they much join a big consortium such as Kaiser just so they can practice and not losing everything to lawsuits!

So why are costs increasing?  Is it Obama and Socialism?

No, it is America has a LOT of unhealthy people AND this culture is programmed to believe something is always wrong with them but then this can be fixed by purchasing something.

Something is wrong with you, you better go see a doctor and you better get some drugs to fix your problem.  Don’t have a problem?  Come’on, I’m sure there is something not quite right that the latest pretty little pill can fix!

America is sick alright.

Now we have Obama trying to provide insurance for everyone, but the other half have been convinced to vote against something that is probably in their best interest!

I really hate it when they throw out the word “socialist” so readily.  These people have no idea what socialism actually is!  I mean they certainly haven’t lived in a socialist country and most likely have never been out of the United States!  So how would they know what Socialism is?  I’ll tell you how.  They watched Fox News and Fox told them so.  They also told them that Socialism is bad.

As for me, I really don’t want to think anymore about healthcare.  If there was a big problem we are fortunate enough that we could always pop back to Japan and be taken care of.

Wait, that was my old thinking.  The Supreme Court just ruled that we can indeed have something close to national healthcare!  Wow.

The people against this really baffle me.  Let me get quickly and succinctly to my point.  I have a choice of nations in which to live and can fit into many of them easily.

Here in the USA you must do the following

1. Pay taxes which already include Medicare / Medicate which is kind of like healthcare
2. Go to war if required.
3. Serve at Court if summoned

We have to do these three basic things but when the government wants to offer something that actually benefits us (healthcare) people get upset?

It is at this point that international people would say that Americans are stupid.  Well friends, I’m happy to inform you that it is only half of them that are stupid.  The other half has it right.

Half advocate war, pollution, racism, outsourcing of jobs.

The other half advocate the opposite.

And yes, this is very simplistic.  I still like Ron Paul for his anti-war stance.  I just can’t stand the Republicans who are just so…………….  off putting!

To wrap it all up, I’m very glad the Supreme Court did good today.

And to put it in perspective, many people have a choice of which passports to hold.  If you were given the choice would you not take a look at the advantages of citizenship in each country?

If Republicans had their way you would have the ‘advantage’ of

1. Going to war
2. Breathing plenty of pollution
3. Not being gay as they don’t like them
4. Having your papers checked daily
5. Praying to Jesus because as everyone knows, Jesus didn’t like immigrants (or gays) and only performed miracles on those with a good healthcare plan
6. Not being assured of healthcare, because only those that know how to make profits are worth anything to them.

But luckily, the Republicans lost today.

As Ice Cube says, “It Was a Good Day.”

By Mateo de Colón

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! (^.^)/