This is an open letter to the people of the United States, namely those people who think universal (or government run) health care is bad.
In November of 2006 four idiots I had never met threw me through the plate glass window of a 7-11. Apparently, it was a fun thing to do after a few beers. I ended up in the hospital that night with five fractures in my face. Approximately two weeks later I had surgery to repair the damage to my face, and ended up getting a piece of plastic surgically fitted under my left eye. Without it, due to the lack of bone, my left eye would probably hang down into my left sinus. This same surgery in the United States, when not done in emergency conditions, would probably run between $25,000 and $40,000 USD.
Unfortunately, I required a revision to the initial surgery, mainly because the position of my left eye was still slightly out (this was by no means a result of lack of care, simply because of the nature of my injury). After several X-Rays and CT scans, and a pile of doctor’s office visits, I once again entered the operating room for yet another $25,000 – $40,000 USD surgery. Thankfully, the results of that surgery were much better, and for all intents and purposes, fixed the damage.
For all of you in the United States arguing against universal health care, I’d like to point out the final bill I received from the hospital, and ultimately what I ended up paying for my health care:
Because of that low cost, I didn’t lose my home, or my car, or the clothes on my back, or have to borrow money from friends or relatives. I didn’t lose any sleep wondering about how to pay, and never once questioned whether or not I’d ever be healthy again. Sure, our system isn’t perfect, but it sure beats a system that forces a lot of people into bankruptcy whenever they get extremely sick.