Free Healthcare, with a Jab

Got your seasonal jab yet?

Every year, I forgo the flu shot, cuz I just don’t like shots. I’m not sure calling it a “jab” makes me feel much better about it… but I probably really should get one this year.

Is healthcare really free here?

Back in NYC, a few friends used to get together every so often for a “documentary club,” where we’d watch a documentary together, then discuss the issues raised in the film over dinner. Some really interesting documentaries, and insightful discussions.

One of the movies we watched was “Sicko,” a Michael Moore film that examines the US health care system. He compares it to other countries’ health care, including the UK system, NHS:

After the film concluded, my friends all looked my way and told me to go find out if it’s true.

I went to the NHS clinic on my campus today. The truth that I don’t like to talk about too often is that I have constant pain from a chronic condition, and it’s worsened to the point of feeling debilitated on some days since I’ve gotten here. It’s been hard. So I wanted to go, get checked up, and see if the NHS might be able to help me out where, indeed, the US system failed—my insurance stopped covering my treatment about a year and a half ago, at which point I simply went without.

Health care is indeed free. But it didn’t come without a pointed jab from the doctor. She told me she would refer me to a specialist, and I asked her about costs and copays.

“You won’t have to pay,” she said. “It’s paid for by taxpaying individuals who are paying for the insurance coverage… freeloader.”

Haha, just kidding, she stopped before “freeloader.” But really, how many times can you say pay in one sentence?

Thank you, NHS. To keep things fair and square, maybe you should convince your prime minister to chill out about border control, and give me a job here, so I can pay you back some taxes for helping me out this year?


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