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Perspectives from Abroad

perspectives_200x200A recent OPINION piece from the NY Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof addressed the issue of health care reform in the US and wrote about one American woman's medical experiences in Canada. This article prompted AARO to consider the notion that those of us who live overseas are in a unique position to bring a perspective to the debate; that of Americans who already use Universal Health Care systems in the countries where they live.

And it need not stop at health care. Your perspective on issues like education, public transportation, energy, the environment and other areas that are currently part of our national dialogue are most welcome. Living outside the US gives us the opportunity to compare and contrast how things work (or don't work) in other countries. By sharing what we've learned from our living abroad experience we aim to use this space to contribute an additional point of view to issues and ideas that are being addressed in the U.S. mainstream media.

We welcome, as well, articles that illuminate the issue areas that are the current focus of AARO's efforts in Washington.

Submit an article! Please use the Perspectives form to submit your article of up to 1,000 words.

Overseas Voting Rights “MOVE” Forward

Clair Whitmer
Director, Voter Outreach
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For decades military and overseas voters have endured discouraging odds against ballots that don't arrive in time to actually vote; notarization and other requirements that seem to deliberately discourage voting; and a knowing sense that the Internet could dramatically improve their voting process.

The good news is that this week the government acted to fix these problems.

Read more: Overseas Voting Rights “MOVE” Forward


 

Which American Kids Don't Have the Right to Vote? Ours!

From Overseas Vote Foundation
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(Please note that this article has been updated and that, as indicated below, there are now 23 states plus the District of Columbia where American children born abroad can vote.)

When I go grocery shopping, I hit the ethnic food aisle for peanut butter. My 10-year-old is reading “King George: What Was His Problem?” on top of memorizing the Bourbon kings. And of course we celebrate Thanksgiving even though it's near impossible to find a nice fat turkey in France in November.

Read more: Which American Kids Don't Have the Right to Vote? Ours!


   

Austrian Health Care

Susie Bondi, Vienna, Austria
September 2009

For us, health care was a big consideration when we were deciding where we would retire. Quality of health care was an issue of course, but so was coverage. We chose Vienna, Austria. Although Austria is listed only as 9th best by the World Health Organization, it was far above the U.S.A. listed only as 37th. Vienna, however, was listed as 1st in quality of living by Mercer Consultants, so we thought we would give it a try. We were not disappointed!

Read more: Austrian Health Care


   

My English Health Care Experience

Patricia Harrison, Fetcham, Surrey, England
August 2009

I am an American who moved to England nine years ago. I really enjoy living here and love the history, the marvelous architecture, the culture, the bustle of London and the calm beauty of the countryside. However, most importanty, I have learned how much I appreciate the National Health System.

Read more: My English Health Care Experience


   

Health Care in France

Anne-Marie Simons, Aix-en-Provence, France
July 2009

Before you decide to settle in a foreign country for your retirement, you tend to think about “old age issues” and how they might compare to the United States. One of those would be health care, another one might be inheritance tax or estate planning. Not being an expert at the latter I will stick to French healthcare which I know from experience and have come to appreciate and admire.

Read more: Health Care in France


   

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