Germany

Socialized Health Care: Efficient, Delightful and Slightly Cold

Dedicated to all the asshats headed into Congress back in the USA who are trying to repeal the health care bill as a first order of business.

I laid on the cold wooden floor of my apartment alternating between hot and cold compresses trying to reduce the pain in my back. On one hand I was frustrated, sick and tired of my cranky spine. On the other hand I was excited and eager at the prospect of finally trying out German health care.

After dealing with insurance in the USA, I was curious to pay a little more in taxes for no deductibles, cheap prescriptions and top rate care. Yes, I know many have equated socialized health care to Nazism, Communism, Nihilism and any other frightening sounding -ism; but I always thought I’d rather have the government up in my health business than a profit-driven, lowest-cost motivated medical insurance company.

My back has bothered me for the past couple years. Probably from too much time hunched over a computer screen. When it first began, I used alternative treatments, including acupuncture, massage and rolfing. (A few $30 co-pays to visit the in-network doctor, in addition to monthly insurance payments, only to be prescribed painkillers I had to pay for out of pocket was not worth it.)

This picture comes up when you type 'socialized health care,' though the German system was much better than any DMV visit I've ever had.

I had avoided setting up an appointment here in Germany hoping to delay my entry into the supposed grinding bureaucracy of state health care as long as I could.

I finally acquiesced one morning while laying on the office floor with a co-worker overhead insisting we call the doctor. She spoke quickly and efficiently in German and came out with an appointment for two days later.

Well, okay, that’s not too bad. But surely I’ll be stuck in the waiting room for two years with all of the other degenerates once I get there.

I arrived at the office and was quickly invited to fill out a form, no doubt to provide the government with all sorts of enticing information they could use against me. Actually, it was just a page or so and I had to write my address and any allergies. I paid my 10 Euros and waited five minutes before I was placed in the doctor’s office.

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