Reddit answers the question: what is universal health care really like?

There’s an amazing conversation happening on Reddit (an enormous social news site / message board) right now about health care around the world. It started with one Redditor asking the question: “Redditors who live in a country with universal healthcare, what is it really like?” The responses are fascinating.

Especially noteworthy is the cultural exchange where Americans simply cannot believe that in the UK, emergency room visits are free – and the Europeans simply cannot believe the American experience.

Here’s just one conversation that is truly telling (we censored curse words. Please note: not all language is safe for work):

Reddit thread

It’s a truly worldwide thread. Even Slovenians are getting in on the action. Meanwhile Americans point to instances when the have health insurance but are still in massive debt. Redditor “breadcamesliced” explains that, even with insurance, he still has $10,000 worth of debt that cannot be paid off.

A word of explanation for those unfamiliar with Reddit’s format: Reddit is a social news site / message board where users submit content and others vote them “up” or “down.” The number of upvotes determines the position of the comment, which is why it is not linear.

As we work to implement the Affordable Care Act, a truly American mix of private and public programs, it’s worth remembering just how crazy our system looks to folks around the world.

Ari Fertig

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