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Why Obama Care Will Not Fix America’s Healthcare Dilemma –Thoughts from an American Expat Living in Austria
by Jane ten Brink
Hat tip: opednews.com
Nearly three years ago, living then in the over-regulated enclave of Santa Monica California, I had enough, and decided to give life in Europe a try. Having relative fluency in German (as the child of World War II transplants from Germany) and a small network of friends in Vienna, Austria through my past work as a museum curator, I chose Vienna as the place for my European “trial-run.”
Shortly after settling into life in Vienna, I purchased a “private” healthcare plan from one of the major Austrian insurance companies (Vienna Insurance Group [Wiener Staedtische]). And, now, nearly three years later, after experiencing the quality of coverage that I am receiving from my private Austrian healthcare plan and the Austrian healthcare system itself, I can see more clearly than ever what is wrong with the American system and why Obamacare, instead of fixing the damage will actually support those who have gotten us into this mess (just like the banker bailout!).
Let me begin by saying that a discussion of the issue of healthcare “insurance” vis-à-vis healthcare itself must of necessity start with cost. And, in this regard, I can say that with the exception of “major medical,” costs, which is to say, hospital care healthcare costs here in Austria are downright affordable and in some cases nearly free-of-charge.
Let me provide a recent example. I was at home on a Saturday night and by about 9:30 in the evening, what began as a seemingly minor skin problem, began escalating. I phoned a Viennese friend who lives around the corner and she thought that to be on the safe side, I should go to the hospital at once. It turns out there is a central number here that you can call to find out which hospital can best treat your problem (different hospitals here have different kinds of “clinics” and some are stronger in certain areas). The person at the central number recommended that I go to the Rudolfstiftung in the 3rd District, as this hospital was considered best for skin.