"How will you deliver your baby now that the government is taking health benefits away from all foreigners who have been in DK less than 5 years? We heard this on DR 1 and were in shock, thinking of all our virtual friends who are having babies, or like Kelli, need serious care. Will your private insurance protect you?"
You can read about what Denmark is thinking of doing here and in other major Danish media.
My answer: I'm hoping they hold off for the next 12 weeks until the Spawn in born. The DB is putting me on his extra health care that is offered through his work, but that only covers major injuries. I suppose that if I want to see a doctor for a sore throat, I could always just walk in front of a car...
The hubs is wondering "dude, can we even buy basic health care coverage for you here?" and swearing a lot at his stupid country. Because basically, if the government takes away my access to free health care unless I have a job that covers me, I'm screwed. I just came back from working a job because I'm pregnant and no one is going to hire a woman that's two and a half months away from starting maternity leave. The entire situation makes me mad enough to spit nails. I wrote an open letter to the Minister of Employment, who's heading the committee, but it's taken until now to get all the expletives out of it and now it's too bloody long to go into a newspaper. I'm just going to post it here.
Dear Inger Støjberg,
I’m sorry I have to write this in English, rather than Danish, but it seems that I’m going to have to drop out of my Danish classes in order to work full-time in order to make enough money to pay for my health care. I’d love to say that I’ll get a job where my employer pays for my health care, but alas, I am not educated as an engineer or doctor or anything particularly useful, so the best I can hope for is something in the hotel industry, perhaps cleaning toilets, because without Danish language knowledge, no company is going to hire me. I know because I’ve tried. I thought that perhaps, after I passed my Prøve 3 test, I may want to take an education in something that would benefit Danish society and lead to a full-time job here in Denmark, but it seems you also want to limit my options on that front as well.
On the other hand, I do manage to work full time for several months out of the year for the University of Copenhagen as an archaeologist. It’s only a contract job, and in Qatar, but I can work full time and make enough money to be taxed through Skat. Thankfully, it’s only 5 months long, because I can only be out of Denmark for 6 months per year, but a job is a job and you go to where the work is and I’m trying to make the most of the education I have. It means, of course, that I can never get permanent residency, because I’m only working full-time for a total of 5 months out of 12, but at least I’m contributing to society. Society I will soon be unable to participate in, not having any Danish language skills and working full-time as a hotel cleaner in order to pay for basic health care, but I’m sure my children will appreciate being stuck in vuggestuer and børnehaver [daycare for children under 6 years of age] for 9 hours a day so that when Mor [Mom] gets sick she can afford to go to see the doctor like Far [Dad] does for free.
Or I could risk not having any health care and try to finish my Danish language classes. I don’t get that sick that often anyway. Gosh, it will be just like living in the US! In fact, why don’t I move my family back to the US, because what is the point of trying to participate in a society that continually rejects you because you had the audacity to be foreign and fall in love with one of it’s citizens? Thanks for my husband’s free education! Oh, don’t worry, he’s a Danish citizen, so you don’t have to worry about having wasted all those years of SU [money from the government to pay for a student's living expenses] on someone like me, instead you wasted it on a citizen who might just leave his homeland to be with the woman he loves. I’m sure losing two tax paying adults is far better than having to pay my biannual doctor visits.
Of course, you say, it would only be until you reached permanent residency or until you have worked x number of years! I’m sorry, remind me again why educated foreigners would want to clean toilets for 5 or so years so that they can “earn” the right to spend the next 3 learning Danish so that now, after 8 years they can actually actively participate in society?
When we chose Denmark, rather than the US, to live in, we did so because we believed that Denmark was where we could realize our dreams of lives focused on family rather than on working long hours at thankless wages to pay for basic human needs, such as health care. What a joke! Family means nothing in Denmark, unless both parents are native born Danes! In Denmark you have a saying “it’s an American situation” and maybe I’ve been mistaken all this time, but I thought it was used to mean something was a bad thing. But you know what? This idea of denying basic free health care to part of the population is very much an American situation, and that’s a situation many Americans are working hard to change. Congratulations, Denmark, in just a few years you will have a social welfare system that makes the US look good.
Am I mistaken? Prove me wrong. Allow immigrants to better themselves, to work towards integration without having to worry about covering basic medical needs or the education that will allow them to succeed in this society. Show your own citizens that they will not be punished for bringing outsiders to Denmark, that love and humanity can extend past the borders of this land. Or continue to show the world that Denmark fears the future, the effects of globalization and multiculturalism on the economy and society, and would rather take it’s native-born citizens and hide down the rabbit hole until the world goes back to the way it was before the twentieth century.