American Woman Who Found A Lump While In Iceland Pens Eye-Opening Thread About Their Healthcare System

Hero Images/Getty Images; @MaryRobinette/Twitter

There is no doubt that the American healthcare system has issues. How to solve those issues often comes down to the age old debate of more public funding versus letting the free market loose.

America’s privatized healthcare may be expensive, but on the other hand, it’s also not great. Which is really what we’re looking for, right?

Well, Mary Robinette Kowal, a Nebula and Hugo award-winning science fiction author, took to Twitter to share her experience with socialized healthcare when she lived in Iceland as a puppeteer on the local TV show Lazytown.

She began her story thus:

Finding a lump is a terrifying prospect, but to also find one while in another country, where you aren’t sure how their health system works is another level.

The fact that she can get in without a referral is beyond anything an American can imagine.

Kowal does later point out she messed up slightly on the amount of krónur. She meant to say 300 krónur.

However, her point still stands. In 2006, 300 krónur was about $3 USD.

Can you imagine seeing a doctor for just $3? Total.

In all, she says the process took about 45 minutes. By comparison, the U.S. measures their times for soonest mammogram appointments in weeks.

Also, yeah, why don’t mammograms have warmers?

The US has the highest health spending per capita compared to every other developed nation. Despite spending so much more, the quality of care Americans receive is ranked average to worse than those same countries.

Kowal’s story wasn’t the only one, of course, as many jumped in with their own healthcare stories from around the world.

Another story by Kelly Gregory highlighted the difference between the two countries’ healthcare systems.

While Kowal was able to receive quick and comprehensive care for almost no cost, Gregory’s story is a fight against the healthcare industry.

Others also shared their stories and opinions:

It’s a common theme in stories about American healthcare. The system is expensive, and unwieldy for the average person to sift through.

Earlier this year, a school administrator was arrested for claiming an ill student was her son to help him get healthcare coverage. She had to strike a deal with the county prosecutor to avoid the charges.

However we decide to make American healthcare better, it’s clear something needs to be done now.

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Written by Ben Acosta

Ben Acosta is an Arizona-based fiction author and freelance writer. In his free time, he critiques media and acts in local stage productions.