The downside of social media

So I get why this happened, right? But I wanted to post it here, for the record. My original Facebook post yesterday:

The Norwegian government, in their infinite wisdom, have long since decided that the county I live in, home to 286,000 people, only needs two hospitals, both on the coastal rim and both an hour’s drive away from where I live. There used to be a hospital right here, but they closed it down. They’re now building a new hospital facility – still an hour’s drive away, and plan to close down the two existing ones. Why am I telling you this? Because in the morning, I have to make that hour-long drive to have my (thankfully) left hand x-rayed and possibly put in a cast. Meanwhile, in Boise, Idaho, a city of 180,000, there are 2 large hospitals and a plethora of other medical facilities, open 24/7. the downside of ‪#‎socializedhealthcare‬

The status update was immediately shared by a number of my conservative friends, in support of their own anti-public healthcare agenda. I pulled the update and issued this statement in its place:

Yesterday, I posted an update regarding the current state of the Norwegian health care system and the fact that, due to the current centralization policy, I had to travel for an hour just to have my hand x-rayed. I’m still miffed about having to travel that far, especially since there was an x-ray machine in the very next room to the ER I went to (just no budget to man it) – but that’s a political ebb-and-flow (and not to mention FINANCIAL) decision that I’m going to address with my next vote. However, some of my more conservative friends took this update to heart and started sharing it to support their own case against “socialized healthcare.” Yes, in light of the verbiage I chose and which was colored by my frustration, I understand completely the misunderstanding. But I will not have my status updates taken and presented out of context. Thus, I removed my status update as soon as I woke up to limit the damage.So, to set the record straight: I am very happy with the fact that my insurance premiums (taken out of my taxes) have finally come to my advantage; I am grateful that my weekly shots of Enbrel (which keeps my psoriatic arthritis in check) are completely covered by my insurance premiums, that my annual co-pay (Norw: egenandel) limits have been reached and that I no longer have to pay for treatment, and that I’m getting 2 weeks’ paid time off while my hand heals. Don’t get me wrong: I can afford to keep paying for consultations. I can still go to private doctors and clinics if I want to. I can even pay for private health insurance (my employer does, just like in the US), so I have additional coverage should the necessary treatments not be available due to patient queues).

Again, yesterday’s status update wasn’t a complaint against socialized health care (and I shouldn’t have used that tag), it was merely me venting my frustration over current policy (which changes every 4-8 years). My own political views are far to the left of Obama’s, but that still makes me a die-hard conservative in Norway and Europe. Share this, if you want.

The moral of the story: be aware of how you present your arguments online. But please feel free to share this one 🙂

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