O is for sure not spending a lot of time out on the beach! First he tried to mend fences between a professor, a police agent and the half of the nation who really thought that he needed to rephrase what he said when asked about this rather unlucky incident! On top of things the press started to analyse the president his beer preference!! And even there he just got bad press because he filled up his bladder with 'Belgian beer'!!!
Uhm, Budweisser, Belgian beer!!! So sorry to break the news to you, my American friends out there, but the average Belgian would never call a Bud 'Belgian' beer!! I even dare to bet that a huge number of Belgians even does not know that Inbev ( the Belgian Beer corporation who owns Bud) hooked up with that brand. Personal, I only consider, Belgian beer, beer that is manufactured on Belgian soil! Honestly I just thaught that this was again so American to actually starting to put a secret agent on that topic!!!
I then guess that O has for sure some reasons to have a six pack or two in the fridge because for the moment he is trying to come up with something new in the hardest topic in the whole American politics, and that is health care!! You can be sure that many US-citizens are watching him very closely for what he is about to change for the better or the worse!!
When reading the local newspaper I do find not many articles what really get into the real problem that O has with changing American health care. Not that I blame them. Not at all because for the mainstream European who managed to get this part of this daily life completely covered it is a topic that we don't even consider that hard anymore.
I was 18 years old when my dad pointed out that when I was being an exchange student out there that my first priority was going to try to stay healthy. Being the very caring dad he took some extra insurrance to make sure that in case of an emergency I would end having the same medical care as I would have gotten here but it did come with a pricetag that was not so funny!
Through the years I found some very strange sounding facts about health care in the U.S! Like that most people need to get private health insurances and there many out there will never be able to get from top to bottom covered. So I read once a story about a woman, once she was able to afford to pay for her dental plan, who threw a party for close friends and family!
If you take time to listen carefully to the dialogues of the patients that end up in the ER of Mc Dreamy , Gregory House or George Clooney you will for sure find out that many patients seem not to get the 'best' care. Many of them seem only have a basic insurance package and a huge number does not even have anything! Like they are gambling with their lives!
At least so it seems to us, the ignorant European, who takes it for granted, let us be a bit honest with ourselves here, to have full access to a very well developed health care system for all!! It is the most 'social' element we have build in our daily lives. Part of our pay check goes straight to that departement and many governments will come up with extra taxes to make sure that we still can afford that first class service in a hospital, at the dentist, at the pharmacist or in the ER! And yes, the more money you make to more you will seeing going that way. Also big corporations know for sure where a part of their profits will go. It is one of the major reasons why many individual entrepreneurs and less big coorperations go down the tubes that fast. They can't carry the cost of labour! Labour who needs to stay healthy in order to function.
Believe me this is something that the average American considers to much interference! In huge nation where they just think different about health care in general. The more the government will interfer with your daily lives the less free the individual will feel. In case you never took it close look at the American Constitution personal freedom is in the US someting sacred.
Trying to reform health care out there is the biggest challenge out there for an American President! Many tried and also most failed or had to settle for a compromise! O already should get a bit more credit that he wants to try to tackle this one.
And yes, even our system is not waterproof! There are moments that when I am sitting out there in the waiting room of Personal Physician of my own choice that I do realise that it thanks to me and millions of other 'social thinkers' that the kid sitting across the room with an astma, the older lady with a severe cold at the other end, the colorful Indian with a rash sitting next me and the guy in bussiness suit who stumbles in with painful wrist after playing squash get all the care they need.
I do mention this when I teach my pupils about our social security system. You can be sure that I then really want to get my message across. That there is not one system that will and can work if you not help it work, put some energy into yourself. If do have pupils who consider our system the easy ride. 'I will be taken care of when I do get in trouble!', many will tell me when I do point out that it is thanks to many of us who pay their taxes honestly and 'donate' a very huge part of their pay check to the many social related systems that we can go living healthy!!
I do hate the impression that there are people that take this system for granted and will even try to get profit out of it. Then I would love to put them on a plane to the States!!! I do to get then in a less healthy rage. IS THIS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND????? IT ONLY WORKS IF YOU HELP IT WORK!!!!!
I don't consider our Belgian system a five star system! It is not bullet proof and it won't stand the test of time. It will need some rethinking as well. And if I had to choose I would start of trying to be a bit more open. Aldous Huxley, one of the Nobel Price winners, his book 'Island' is perhaps a very good read for the politicians who want to reform the health care system. On that 'perfect' island everybody takes care of everybody! And you can be sure that is something we do less and less!! Not that it would work in his depicted form but it would help us to rethink our systems but it would for sure mean more energy and time then having to fill out a check.
I am very grateful to my mother that she took my grandmother in when she needed more help. She did not end up in a nursery home and was able to spend many sunny days out there on the sun deck and have her coffee with her personal preference of Belgian Chocolates. I do still feel very relieved about the fact that my dad died at home and not surrounded by medical equipment and tons of tubes in his body.
Perhaps the biggest challenge that we modern human beings will have to face in times to come is where we can find the most personal care! Personal I think that O will need some extra time to get it a bit more right. And to all those out there who are afraid that a changed system will bring to much government influence! Don't panic, I am quite assured that O will never push it that far. It wouldn't work in American society!!! But then it would have been nicer to have depicted him as a Cliniclown instead of the Joker on those posters!
P.S.: If you can't read the cartoon I have picked to go along with this piece then it is perhaps time to go and see a doctor!!!!