1,25€ for an EKG?!

16 thoughts on “1,25€ for an EKG?!”

  1. Puts our healthcare system to shame.
    It’s great to hear such positivity and healthcare delivery in the same sentence.
    Enjoy the good life.
    XO,
    Jeanne

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  2. That’s crazy, but great! Now that I am getting more involved in the U.S. healthcare system lately, I’m realizing that it’s just a hot mess…

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  3. Spectacular post…thanks for sharing. BTW, would you say Portugal has “high” taxes to support this medical system?

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    1. Thanks Taffy – your question is a good one, but the answer is just a bit more nuanced than yes or no. The US income tax rates range from 10% to 37% depending on your adjusted gross income (AGI) and filing status. In Portugal income tax rates range from between 14.5% to 48% of AGI. (Did I mention that Won is a CPA and used to be a revenue agent for the IRS?) Essentially the US tax rate is lower; however, the social benefits are stronger in Portugal and the wealthy pay higher taxes to supplement the poorer population. The US is opposite. The tax rate for the wealthy in the US is lower than in Portugal (about 11% lower) but they end up paying even less than required due to so many exemptions. Here is a key difference – in Portugal if you are retired, unemployed or in a vulnerable or low-earning group your healthcare costs are 100% covered – and healthcare isn’t tied to your job. In the US, when you retire you still have to pay for Medicare until you die. To drive home these differences, Warren Buffett, even though he is calling for higher taxes on the wealthy, will never pay more than 20% of his income in taxes under the US tax system. He received $3.4 billion in dividend income in 2019. As noted in my post, Portugal spends 9.1% of its GDP on healthcare. The US spends 17.7% and doesn’t cover everybody. 27.5 million Americans (8.5%) don’t have healthcare. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

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  4. Beth,
    I’m both impressed & encouraged by your experience with Portugal’s healthcare. I’m also so discouraged by the “system” in the USA. Even though I worked at a medical school with a hospital, I could not get appointment to treat my pneumonia a few years ago. Three weeks of trying to contact my MD “friends” I eventually went to a FastMed at a mall to get treated. As a result of the delay I now have continuing, lifelong health issues. Yes, the USA health industry is a disgrace. I appreciate your detailed experience and the analysis of the US tax system- taxing income versus wealth. Anyway, great post and information. Another thing to put in the “PRO” column to moving abroad!

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    1. I’m so terribly sorry to hear that the system failed you in such a terrible way. It’s clear a complete overhaul is in order. I truly believe people are convinced it’s the best in the world and it’s not. I know I felt that way before I moved here.

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  5. Loved the article Beth, and great writing btw. Having lived in both Europe and raised in the US military I have tried to explain that there is another option we could have in the US, but inevitably am hit with the “socialist” argument. I have tried to point out that while our taxes are indeed lower, we have to pay extra for “everything” especially healthcare. Sadly, the extra is not .08 euros for a urinalyses. Along with the fear that most families are one major illness away from financial ruin. Its crazy to think that we have not explored a hybrid system, much like every European country, that takes care of everyone (at a reduced cost and not filling ER’s) while allowing a private option for those who wish to pay for it. Sadly, in the end, it comes down to money. So I guess it is all about socialism vs capitalisms, and we must pay for the profits and bonuses of those in the medical/pharma industry. I know its not that simple, but isnt it?

    I would say hope you guys are doing well, but sounds like its and incredible adventure, congrats. Say hi to Won and tell him to stay away form those Pastéis de Belém aka pastry heroin.

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    1. Hello Karl!!! So great to hear from you. You are absolutely right in your comments. I fear the US is going to have to fall far before it realizes AND accepts the fact that there is a better option and take steps to fix it. It’s just incredibly sad to think it may have to come to that. “Pastry heroin” LOLOLOLOL!!!! That is so true!!! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the US will get this pandemic under control so you guys can come visit. We’d have a blast. Take care and stay in touch.

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  6. Our healthcare situation truly makes me want to spit nails! I honestly can’t even start talking about it. But it’s great to hear you’re experiencing how things could be here if we were less polarized and quite a bit smarter.

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    1. The US has got to wake up and see that there is a better way and that sweeping, fundamental change won’t destabilize or take down the country. Personally, I think many people do know change is needed, but it’s such a gargantuan challenge when you think about the amount of alignment, time, energy, resources and leadership needed to get it done. The system might just have to break under its own weight and complexity before people, politicians, and business come together to fix it. One thing is certain, I haven’t heard from anyone who has said they think the current US healthcare model is great. That says a lot. Miss you guys. 😘❤️

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  7. Impressive research. I tried to get some of that type of information for Canada, but google wasn’t cooperating! Anyway, I often say “thank goodness for Tommy Douglas”. He was a politician who introduced universal healthcare to Canada in 1960.

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