What it’s Like to Live in a Universal Healthcare-Having Dystopia

My tyrannical government forces healthcare upon me. Please help.

Image: Torange.biz

I have perpetually bad luck. You see, I was born in Australia, a country with dictatorial politicians who apparently missed the GOP’s memo that healthcare is not a right. To escape those tyrants, I recently fled to Argentina, only to find that here, too, doctors and nurses are forced to treat people who are in turn forced to receive free healthcare. It goes without saying that I’m drafting my application for asylum in the USA as I write this.

One day, back home, I noticed a lump in my groin while showering. In a more civilised nation, I would've had a thing called choice: I could pay a measly couple thousand dollars to get it checked out, or embrace the chance to build character by kind of just hoping that it’d go away. Back home, however, that’s not an option — I simply had to head to the doctor’s office.

A waiting room full of fellow coerced souls greeted me. The receptionist asked for my Medicare card, confirmed my details (surveillance state, anyone?), then apologised for how busy it was, noting that it would be about 20 minutes before I could see a doctor. After being forced to pay a grand total of nothing for my checkup, I took a seat, grumbling under my breath about the inefficiency of public healthcare.

‘Please help me.’ / Image: Vic @ Flickr

The doctor called my name after an unreasonable 22 minute wait (I timed it). During the consultation, I’m almost certain that he blinked H-E-L-P numerous times in morse code. Five minutes later, I’d been diagnosed with a hernia, informed that it would need surgery, and given a referral. I walked out feeling disgusted at myself for having taken advantage of that poor, enslaved physician.

Within the next week, I visited a specialist at a public hospital. He was forced to reaffirm the first doctor’s diagnosis and put me on the surgery waiting list. Though it wasn’t urgent, he said that it shouldn’t be left for more than a few months. All I could do was wish that I had the right to leave it untreated for years until I die of a strangulated hernia.

Two months later, my hernia was ‘fixed’ by a surgeon in invisible shackles. I was out by the next morning, already missing the conjoined groin-twin they’d stolen from me. Worse still, they didn’t permit me to pay them a single cent, not for the surgery nor any of the subsequent checkups.

The only stock image of a sad doctor I could find. / Image: Pixabay

It was only natural that I’d leave such a dystopia the second I got the chance. Yet to my shock, I arrived in Argentina only to find that things here were even worse. Despite being a developing country, they still, somehow, have universal healthcare — not just for citizens or residents, but for everyone, regardless of migration status. You don’t even need ID!

It seems that much of the rest of the world still hasn’t realised that public healthcare is a backwards, stone-age institution that infringes on god-given freedoms, like the right to avoid the doctor for decades because a sudden healthcare cost would render me homeless. Until they catch up, I fully intend to take refuge in the USA, one of the few truly pro-choice nations on Earth; between bankruptcy or death, that is.