Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Twitch chat about the NHS speaks volumes about US healthcare
Nothing quite highlights the difference between the healthcare systems of the US and the UK than watching an American’s mind boggling at the thought of medical treatment being free at the point of use.
During a game of Among Us on Twitch, British gamer, Harris Brewis, or @Hbomberguy, found himself talking to none other than Democratic Congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was very cannily using the platform to connect with the public.
Here we goooo https://t.co/nZap5fuerN
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 21, 2020
The conversation turned to the NHS.
— Brennan Murphy (@brenonade) October 21, 2020
“Do you just walk up and say ‘I need help’? I can’t even imagine that interaction without a credit card or some sort of cash payment”.
Of course, strictly speaking, British healthcare is paid for via taxation.
Actually it's not "free", exactly. It's paid for by taxation, which means all people who pay the tax contribute to the costs. There is a nominal fee for the perscription at £9 per item (around $12). but if you are under 16, over 65 or are claiming welfare, this fee is waived.
— J Corbett (@JCorbett16) October 21, 2020
Some people shared their NHS stories.
When my lung collapsed I went to A&E, got admitted, ending up staying for a month in hospital and had lung surgery. All for free thanks to the amazing NHS. I cannot imagine that this would have cost if I were in the US when this happened. It scares me how @AOC explains the US way https://t.co/VtWJjMa3q8
— Jake Taylor (@AstroJake) October 21, 2020
I've had a hip joint resurfacing operation. Free. My wife had a hip replaced in January. Also free. You do pay for prescription medicines. (About $13) Prescription medicines are free for the over 60's. Imagine a life without the stress of worrying what your healthcare might cost.
— Pure Sound (@puresound_A30) October 21, 2020
I'm an American who moved to London a couple years ago. The first time I went to the gp I stopped at reception after the appointment to ask if had to do anything or if I had a copay or anything and they looked at me like I was nuts. I walked out and almost cried on the way home.
— mike (@mpurgatori) October 21, 2020
I broke my arm in my first year in the UK. Since I was technically an 'Academic Visitor,' I was not fully supported by the NHS. They made me pay the 'full' rate for an ER visit and an X-ray, apologising for how much it cost: £120. That's what single payer does. #SinglePayerNow https://t.co/EqxQKg5DIu
— Tyler Kelly (@TyLKelly) October 21, 2020
While Americans mused on their very different situation.
Aye man, after hearing this I am just furious lmao our Healthcare in the states is the ghetto 😂 https://t.co/4nK7lIaku5
— Velly (@VellyCasts) October 21, 2020
I had health care coverage from ages 13-23 and 25-present. I am fortunate that I've never had a major accident or reoccurring health issue. I was almost hit by a car by a distracted driver and the one thing I thought wasn't "ouch" it was "damn this is gonna be 20k AT LEAST" https://t.co/BFHTauCpvE
— Stephanie E Suarez (@geologiststephy) October 21, 2020
I breathed in a microscopic spore somewhere a few years back and the post-insurance medical bill for them saving me from the death of the fungal infection that completely took over my lung was over $32,000 just from the hospital itself not counting excess fees or doctor bills. pic.twitter.com/DyjBb5qbGx
— UR | Xyless #BlackLivesMatter (@Xyless) October 21, 2020
Think about this the next time you see a commercial saying even "affordable" healthcare is "too radical" for your state.
It shouldn't be affordable. It should be free. https://t.co/JemPwmbvhA
— EvilToaster (@EvilToaster) October 22, 2020
Harris Brewis saw all the hullabaloo and had this to say.
I think I may have caused a diplomatic incident
— hbomberguy (@Hbomberguy) October 21, 2020
Hopefully more of an inspiration than a diplomatic incident.
In conclusion …
Americans legitimately not being able to comprehend receiving healthcare for free makes me so, so sad.
I'm sorry, friends. I hope that one day soon you'll never have to worry about medical bills ever again. https://t.co/scM0TfzGbv
— Matt Gamb-Hell 🔥 (@MattGambell) October 21, 2020