Caitlin Ahern

English communication in Graz, Austria

“Breaking Bad”: Austria Edition

One of my favorite T.V. shows of the last few years has definitely been “Breaking Bad,” about a high school chemistry teacher who turns to alternative sources of income to pay his medical bills and provide for his family after being diagnosed with cancer.

Part of what makes the show so affecting is the fact that you have to ask yourself if you would do the same thing in Walter White’s situation. Though none of us would like to imagine ourselves as drug dealers, the sad fact is that sudden medical bills leave Americans with very few options, and we find ourselves rooting for Walter in finding a way to beat the system, at least for a while.

It seems obvious now, but it never occurred to me how ludicrous this idea must seem in Austria and elsewhere in Europe. This poignant cartoon by Christopher Keelty makes it seem so simple: Such a situation would simply never happen here with universal health insurance. It still baffles my mind that some Americans can look at the Affordable Care Act and not see its long-term benefits. We are still a long way from a perfect healthcare system, but it seems like Obamacare is taking steps in the right direction. With so many European countries who have universal health coverage regulated by the government with lower costs for care, we have a lot of role models to choose from. Come on, people!

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This entry was posted on October 20, 2013 by in Living Abroad and tagged , .
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