Yeah, still a very hot topic in the States right now.
Last year, I visited my own boss who had an accident. His insurance put him in a room with 4 other people. (he's better now) He checked himself out a day later preferring to heal up at home. I thought: "This is my boss! Why did they stick him into this public ward???"
This year, I visited an uncle in LA who had a stroke. He's in a room with one other dude who can't stop coughing. You feel like you're getting sicker as you stand there, unwilling to breathe.
The nurses are too few and are always tired (understandably). There is a smell of feces in the air as you go through certain parts of the place. The hospital chlorine smell is overpowering.
My grand aunt in the Philippines is in the hospital. I visited her recently.
The room is air conditioned, private, has its own toilet and shower stall. How much is something like this, I asked. It cost 1,300 pesos per night --$30. Place is well ventilated and there are enough nurses that each visit, I see 4 of them come in and out of the place (not to mention they're all young and pretty).
Staff's all pro. They are after all, the same nurses that staff US hospitals.
It's really bad when you compare it like that.
Even if you pay the doctor out of pocket, a stay like that is cost effective and affordable.
Not to mention the medicines are cheaper as well. Same company. Pfizer provides cheap meds in the Philippines while US consumers has its dick in their ass.
I lived in Australia for close to a year. My former girlfriend is an Australian doctor who does the roving medical service (if you are too sick to go to the hospital or prefer to be treated at home, you can call the medical people over). We drive about the place treating rich and poor alike. The service is standard and the same for all. For those paying more into the system, they get extra frills. The car we drive about in is like a cop car but with different decals. It was quite an experience. This just tells me those who say universal healthcare is like the Soviet Union 1960 have never left the country and have never gone anywhere else in the world.
I get to compare our supposedly best medical system against another first world country and a third world country. From the standpoint of a working man like me, both of them have better amenities and more timely and adequate staffing. One gets paid through people's taxes and the other is out of pocket (the US model) but is cheaper and better.
Sure, there's first class amenities in the US no doubt. But what does it cost?
When people say we have the best healthcare, they are talking about the healthcare that only the rich can afford.
I post this here because as travelers and those who live nomadically, this is our issue.
Luckily, because we travel far and wide, we can compare and contrast.
The cheapest way I heard for most is to go up to Canada and marry a Canadian.
But currently for me, this is my best healthcare model.
I go to the Philippines to get my annual medical and dental needs taken care of.
It is cheaper and with less hassles. It is out of pocket, but neither will it destroy your finances.
And because it's the Philippines, let's admit it... Just like any other tourist destination like Thailand or Vietnam, there's tons of cool places to go to as long as you have money.
For the price of a plane flight, you get to take care of your pressing needs... and get a little vacation in while you're at it. Of course, it helps if you know people so you can just couch surf on over.