I have a lot of complaints about the Japanese national healthcare system, and the other day I aired them at JJs. The defensive response I got surprised me, and made me realise that the Japanese are – rightfully or otherwise – proud of the NH system here, especially in comparison with the North American model. A couple of the JJs had lived in the US in the past, and a couple more had close relatives currently living there, and they all had major concerns about the way the system works there. They were especially critical of the role of insurance companies. I don’t know much about it, so I took their complaints with a grain or two of salt, until by chance I read this article. Frankly, it horrified me. Is that really the way that things work there? And why do so many middle-class Americans have so much resistance to their taxes being raised to pay for a socialised healthcare system, when in the long run it would probably work out cheaper for them than paying for private insurance? Surely any idiot can do the math.
Sure, I have my complaints about the Japanese system (usually we pay 30% and the government covers the rest; the treatment itself is bare-bones at best, yet as a veteran of two successful surgeries in Japan I can’t complain). But I rest a lot easier knowing that I’d never be in danger of going bankrupt for an emergency procedure for myself or my kid. And I’m pretty sure that I’d never have to take him to be treated in a “field hospital.”
Actually I’m thinking of encouraging him to go into the private healthcare insurance trade, as that seems to be the easy path to riches these days.