Oh man, don't get me started on the "wonderful" American healthcare system.
I don't know what's worse, wait times or affordability. Of course, my state (South Carolina) does have state mental healthcare clinics, but they are mediocre to terrible for anyone on a sliding scale. Both of the times I used them, I had half of my appointments cancelled. The second time I used them, they wouldn't remind me of appointments they didn't cancel, putting a lot of pressure on me to remember them. I felt like they were trying to create reasons to close my case and leave me out in the cold.
I'm also between $3k and $5k in hospital debt for emergency and vital services. I had to shut my cellphone off due to debt collector harassment. It's sad when a medical service saves your life then turns around and bills you for it. There are services to reduce or eliminate much of the cost, but with multiple clients billing you per visit, one of those usually don't participate in a charity service, so you're stuck with a bill you can't pay that will go to collections and possibly ruin your credit rating.
I hate to say it, but I envy places with universal healthcare. Privatized healthcare doesn't work if you can't pay for it, such as if you're too sick to work. Plus, private insurance and drug companies in the US are infested with corporate greed and exist in oligopolies, which are not competitive as much as Republicans will boast that competition brings down the prices.
22nd December 2007
It costs way too much and doesn't do much for you. It'll keep you alive in many cases but the focus on disease control rather than healing/preventing disease has been a catastrophe if you ask me. Everyone is getting sicker and the two options are disease management (maybe) through the use of prescribed drugs or going to health "gurus" that are totally hit or miss as to whether their woo woo methods will be able to help you. At least it's (probably) cheaper to go through the second method. Where's the mechanistic research into the root causes of disease? I guess that's harder to do, but there's also not nearly as much money in disease prevention through lifestyle and diet changes. Hell, if anything, the diet adjustment that will happen will lead a person to spend less money on food. So there's just no money in doing that research. But drugs get a lot of money. If studies that show the effectiveness of a drug are published, that means the drug will be used more, so companies are happy to finance that type of research.
Additionally, people are addicts to their current lifestyle and diets. We have to put some of the blame on our nature for getting into this mess. It's easier to be lazy than to be active, get proper amounts of sleep, eat correctly, and limit screen time and so we pay the consequences down the line. I've been seriously struggling with my own laziness for years and can definitely say that if bad choices simply aren't there to make, things are way better.
So when you have an entire country based on this profit where you can, let the people do what their lazy selves are most likely to do, and provide the bad choices mentality, it's no wonder prices are through the roof and the quality of care is horrendous for so many people.
All hail Daut our Lord and Savior
Not to mention if the US government does try to help people live a healthier life, usually through regulations that limit drink sizes at McDonalds, a lot of people start going crazy because "the guvmit's taking my freedoms away!" I don't want a nanny state either, but obviously not enough people are making the right decisions for their lifestyles and to keep healthcare costs low. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, but it's also less profitable than a lifetime of treatments. I think the high stress of life in the US (and possibly elsewhere) has people turning to unhealthy habits for vices or just cripples people with anxiety and depression that results in poor lifestyles and eventual declining health.
I should give an update to my situation out of fairness for the topic.
I was approved for SSI on January of 2019 (last month at the time of this post). As part of receiving SSI, I am also automatically signed up for Medicaid, and Medicaid will pay for any medical costs I accrued after my official date of disability. That means a lot of my medical debt might be paid by the State of South Carolina. I wasn't aware of this before my SSI was approved, and it's really nice that the state will take care of those bills because it was not fun going without insurance while waiting for my administrative law judge hearing and having debt collectors harass me like they did over my hospital debt.
It doesn't mean that I still don't approve of single-payer healthcare in the US. Single-payer healthcare would have prevented a lot of these problems from happening and prevented a lot of other disasters in my life.
I hope to get myself in shape to eliminate some of my chronic conditions and prevent others. It'll feel better to be healthy.