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You Can’t Afford to be Sick in America

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You Can’t Afford to be Sick in America

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A typical day in America:

Honey, are you *sure* you’re going in to work today?

I’ve got to. We can’t afford me not to.

But sweetie, you were up all night with a fever! You’ve had diarrhea for days. Your head is pounding.

I’ve got to work. I don’t have any sick days, anyway.

Look, this can be serious! We’ve got insurance.

We need the money.

I should have taken you into the hospital last night…

For what? I was already in miserable pain. So I could get in the cold car…

We could’ve called an ambulance…

An ambulance?!? Right, like we can afford THAT! You know our plan doesn’t cover ambulances. So, I could get into the cold car, drive to the ER, sit in an uncomfortable chair in a lobby under bright fluorescent lights that make my headache worse, surrounded by a bunch of other people with infections…

Better than dying.

I wasn’t dying, c’mon. Remember last time we went to the ER? Remember me sitting in the lobby for four hours, then being taken in the back to another room for two hours, only to see a doctor for ten minutes who then told me to take some Benadryl and go to bed… which is where I had been and what I had done six hours before?

Yeah…

What’d that cost us?

Uh.. I dunno… I think around $1,800…

Right. So, no, I’m not going to the doctor…

We don’t have to go to the ER…

Babe, even with our insurance, we have a $500 deductible. Where’s that coming from?

Fine. Fine. But you’re not driving. I’ll take you to work.

OK… but wait a minute… I think I’m going to throw up again…

Meanwhile, in every other civilized industrial nation:

Darling, I’m feeling quite under the weather today. I think I’ll call into work and tell them I’m going to the doctor.

Good idea, sweetheart. You have seemed to be getting ill. Let me get your coat.

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