- Published on Sunday, 03 March 2013 05:00
The US health care system stinks. Millions of people don't have insurance, because they can't afford it. Compared to other developed countries our health care system is quite poor. After hanging out in the hostel for a few weeks and meeting people from around the world I keep getting reminders just how bad it stinks.
Health care in Asia is pretty good for an English teacher. Most health care is inexpensive. A trip to the hospital or to the doctor won't cost much of anything. I once got surgery on my nose in Taiwan and paid around $200.
While in Korea I took a couple trips to the doctors office during my 3.5 years there. I can't remember what I paid, but it wasn't much. Doctors there and in China still can get a cut from when they prescribe you medication, so you should use your judgement. Drugs are an additional fee. I remember a doctor prescribing a lot of drugs once for some fairly minor thing that wasn't really necessary. The same thing can happen in the USA. Doctors earn some money each time they prescribe you drugs.
In Korea your employer will pay a small percentage and then you will match it. National health insurance which is paid by a tax covers most things for free. Everyone has it and everybody is covered. That's the situation for many other countries in the world.
Taiwan has something similar in which pretty much everyone is covered and it's also cheap. Although to get free healthcare in these countries you need to have all your paperwork and ARC completed. But even if you don't have insurance it's still cheap.
Big, bad, wealthy USA can't compare. In the USA if I want to see a dentist and I don't have insurance I am going to pay around $300+ for a first time visit and cleaning. In China and Korea if I don't have insurance I am going to pay around $50. The last time I was in Korea I paid 50,000 won (about $50) to get my teeth cleaned.
Our friends in Denmark pay nothing. They do pay high taxes though close to 50%, but everything is covered. And so is their university. That's another place where the US sucks.