Stranded Overseas


My best friend has been stranded overseas for 20 years. And I miss her dearly. Why you might ask? No, it was not a natural disaster. She didn’t do anything illegal. She’s not locked up either. Her crime was that she dared to get sick away from home. She had breast cancer, and all the grueling treatments that go along with it. I’m mad as hell.

Below is a quote from James Glave, in his article Private Healthcare is Stranding Expats Away From Home that says people like my friend are:

living in “health-care exile,” a term that has emerged in expat circles in recent months to describe the unknown number of Americans who left the country at some point to pursue a relationship, care for of an aging overseas parent, or accept a job posting in a foreign land — but who now can’t return because they or their dependents are effectively uninsurable.

There is no way my friend could get insured here in the USA now. She is a US citizen born of parents, grandparents and so on back for generations, who are also US citizens. All that is just too bad for her.  If things get worse are these expats going to have to forge new identities and sneak back home as political refugees?

This is just wrong! What really gets me though, is that she claims socialized medicine is no picnic either. In the country she lives in, getting a second opinion is pretty much out of the question. Your doctor has the final say in what treatment you do, or do not get. My husband and I have a friend in Norway who had to wait years before his doctors decided that his back condition was “bad enough” to require surgery.  He was basically bed ridden this entire time. I can’t even imagine how he suffered.


Surely there is some middle ground solution to this insanity. We are banging around from extreme to extreme here on Terra Firma. In the States we are effectively prisoners of our health insurance companies. People work for years at jobs they hate. Jobs that are killing their souls. Why? The damned insurance. They got an ingrown toenail in 1993 and so anything that happens to them from the waist down is a “pre-existing condition if they change jobs/insurance.  People are ready to retire, but no can do. What if they have a health problem? Odds are that anyone will have an issue at some time in their life. It’s part of being human.

Sooo… the solution to this is a mind-boggling elaborate system that will cost the country a Bizzillion dollars? And also make paying health care premiums a legal requirement? I don’t like that sound of that all. To be honest I never read the entirety of available pros and cons because I was afraid my head would explode.  Anything that convoluted and could be painted to a thousand different shades of truth and meaning is flawed from the git go.

If I were the King of the Forest, I would wave my scepter and decree that health care shall be a not for profit business. And I don’t mean those who do work should pay for everyone else. Or that the “rich” have to pay for it either.  That theory that the evil rich should pay for everything really pisses me off.   The main fly in that ointment is that for many the definition of rich is simply “You have more than I do. Gimme yours.” Greed is not the only deadly sin, there is also Envy.

I read a statistic a few years back that there are more people in the US making upwards of $100K per year in the Cancer Industry than there are people who have cancer. Regardless, I have no beef with making profit, just not at the expense of my life or the life of my loved ones.  What I do mean by not for profit is that the whole point of health care should be for caring for people’s health.  Not increasing the bottom line profit, for the share holders and the stakeholders. And blah, blah, blah. If you have ever sat through a corporate meeting you know what I’m talking about.

7 responses

  1. to touch on Doug’s point (kudos and for being married 50 years)….it IS biz, after all…other civilized countries don’t put up with the inefficiency and waste…but remember if you or your loved ones are receiving any type of “health care” be wary and be watchful of every single “delivery”. It’s scary being out here.

  2. It hadn’t occurred to me that I can never go back for exactly the same reason – not that I want to – but it’s not a choice.

    Fortunately we’re quite happy with New Zealand’s socialised medicine. Not perfect – nothing is – but high quality care available to all – no papers required. I’ve had the same doctor for 16 years now. After all this time, the idea that health care is not a basic right in any reasonably wealthy country seems very strange. And that insurance premiums for a family run $10-15k and upwards even stranger…

  3. Now I’m tried of tellin’ my liberal buddies that I don’t think health care is a “right”…I just think it “good business”… considering we have somehow distilled capitalism into every founding document that Fox News pimps religiously.

    And “Non-Profit” makes even more sense…since the profit margin of being healthy enough to do all that capitalistic crap has the free market feeding on itself.

    As far as a middle way between “show me the money” feel good medicine and socialized “good enough”, I’m clueless, but to suggest a quantum leap in understanding better resource allocation is coming to a smart phone app soon.

    Good post… and I don’t mean to be flippant with matters of personal pain and disease.


  4. Oh god! I hate that when they freak over something on labs being slightly off. Unless of course it is something that you want to know about. Then it’s a minor issue. Maybe that the solution. The minute I walk in the door I’ll start screaming about my cholesterol, wet my pants and faint dead away. Then they’ll never talk about it again. I hear you about obese office assistants lecturing about some insignificant detail. Loose 60 pounds honey, then we’ll talking about my blood sugar being 1 point above “normal.”

    1. thanks for a vote of sanity…..don’t get me started on the unwanted STD screening for me yearly pap – no uterus since 1979…..what part of “i’m celibate do you not understand?”

      1. LOL. Didn’t you know you can get that stuff offa toilet seat 😛

  5. well, what i want to know is how did you get my pic with the rolling pin posted on your site???? That’s how angry i am with my “healthcare” that I DO pay large portions thereof for “services rendered”. oh god, i endured healthcare hell in the last month with an obese D.O (female) who is more concerned with my labs being slightly out of whack than my out of whack back. i will dance on her fat ass grave long before I kick the bucket…i’m 60+ size 4 and 23 BMI and Body fat. please lets just figure out my mechanical problems….is that too much to ask?? I am transferring back to my md of 15 years next month. hooray!!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: