Many people who moved to the U.S. have abandoned the lives they had built over fear that the inequalities of the American health care system, exacerbated by the rampaging virus, would leave them vulnerable
Expatriates, especially in New York, have abandoned the lives they built over fear of the inequalities in the American health care system.
Groups for expats on social media, usually places for neighborhood recommendations and subletting advertisements, have filled with questions about apartments left behind and worries about abandoned pets, soon-to-be-due taxes and the status of visas.In many ways, these transplants are a privileged subset. Thousands of immigrants, drawn to the United States out of necessity, have no choice but to stay. Others, like those from hard-hit Italy or Spain, may not find a benefit in returning home.
Some expats are staying put, potentially at risk to their health, to remain employed. “If I was to go back to Australia, I might not be able to come back to America. I could lose my job,” said Tara Kenny, 29, who works for a mental health nonprofit in New York.
Others who were able to travel home many time zones away are working middle-of-the-night hours to keep pace with their colleagues.Clare Rawlinson, 33, a podcast producer, along with her partner and another couple who are also their housemates, arrived in Australia last month from New York, and just finished 14 days in quarantine. The two couples are now living in an Airbnb together, and they wake up between 3 and 5 a.m. to remotely work their New York City jobs on Eastern time.
“We only had 24 hours between deciding and getting on a plane,” Ms. Rawlinson said, adding that the choice to leave New York involved accepting that “there could be really inconvenient and upsetting consequences either way.” But they hope to return to the United States as soon as possible.
Ms. Lo, the freelance writer, said she was unsure that the pandemic would be quelled enough to allow borders to reopen before she is due to give birth in about four months.“When we made the decision, we didn’t talk about the possibility that I might give birth here without him,” she said of her husband, an American who stayed behind for his job. “Emotionally, it’s a bit hard to take.”
Butwhen a nurse at the New York hospitalwhere she had planned to give birth died from the virus, Ms. Lo said, it became clear that her decision to move was the right one.Spotty health insurance coverage has been the deciding factor for some expats. Anna Inglis, a 38-year-old freelance photo producer based in Brooklyn, said she had decided last month to return home to New Zealand in part because she did not have health coverage through her job.
The American system of private health insurance, with varying coverage and sometimes high premiums, deductibles or co-payments, is a stark contrast to the public systems in places like New Zealand, Australia and Britain, where government-subsidized access to doctors and many services is universal.
Some expats say their health insurance options in the United States are so poor that they have instead used travel insurance as their primary coverage. Others, like Ms. Inglis, have only the most basic level of health coverage in New York, but back home, that is not a consideration.
“I feel reassured by the New Zealand political system,” she said. “Hopefully, the system can cope better than the New York system is currently.”This intuition to flee the United States, and its health care system, during a pandemic may be a good one.“The U.S. has been a leader in so many other areas, but when it comes to the health care system, it is behind,” said Adam Kamradt-Scott, a global health security
expert at the Center for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney.Professor Kamradt-Scott said that as pressure mounted on the American system, it was possible that citizens would be prioritized over foreigners. Some hospitals in the United States, especially in New York, are “literally so overwhelmed that people are only presenting when they are very, very sick.”
By that stage, he said, “it’s too late to save people’s lives.”One Australian, Shelley Wilcox, and her partner, a Briton, who live in New York, have remained, but they have a contingency plan. If the situation becomes too dire, Ms. Wilcox, who is pregnant with twins, and her partner will drive across the border to Canada, where they are also citizens.
“I’m not so worried about getting the virus,” Ms. Wilcox said. “It’s more about the system here collapsing.”Isabella Kwai reported from Sydney, and Livia Albeck-Ripka from Melbourne, Australia.Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions Read more: The New York Times »
Ms. Wilcox & her partner are wrong to defraud the 🇨🇦HC system. They live in NY. In Ontario even🇨🇦 citizens must make their *primary* residence here; meet 90-day waiting period; + 153 day/yr physical presence for OHIP. Selfish leeches, to deprive residents & taxpayers of 🏥 beds NY Times = DNC propaganda and is an enemy of US citizens
Plenty of immigrants just move to the USA to reap the financial benefits until they feel it's better to move back. What makes them so special that they can do whatever they want, but USA Citizens can't and are harmed by immigrants who can? Whoever can work like that do right? Check out my Gig on Fiverr: design a modern flat minimalist corporate business logo design
Whatever. Then don’t migrate here. Illegals seem to find free healthcare so not sure about your fake news here. Good. If they don't like it, leave. Solution? Move to the countries with the healthcare they like. Just talk to people in great britAin nationalized health care vas majie problems ATTENTION; ça va être TERRIBLE dans 10 jours
Moscow Finally u realize the importance of motherland. That's one convoluted way to make a point. it's not free, they want other people to pay for it China - a land of rat,bat,dog eaters, should be kicked out of UNSC. Extremely irresponsible country 4 leaking the virus which has already infected over half a million and killed thousands across world. Shame on Xi Jinping! ChineseVirus19 ChineseVirus
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