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Look Who Loves French Health Care



Look Who Loves French Health Care
By Jonathan Cohn | The New Republic | December 14, 2009

It's Matt Welch, editor-in-chief of the very libertarian Reason magazine:

To put it plainly, when free marketers warn that Democratic health care initiatives will make us more “like France,” a big part of me says, “I wish.” It’s not that I think it’s either feasible or advisable for the United States to adopt a single-payer, government-dominated system. But it’s instructive to confront the comparative advantages of one socialist system abroad to sharpen the arguments for more capitalism at home.

For a dozen years now I’ve led a dual life, spending more than 90 percent of my time and money in the U.S. while receiving 90 percent of my health care in my wife’s native France. On a personal level the comparison is no contest: I’ll take the French experience any day. ObamaCare opponents often warn that a new system will lead to long waiting times, mountains of paperwork, and less choice among doctors. Yet on all three of those counts the French system is significantly better, not worse, than what the U.S. has now. ...

In France, you are covered, period. It doesn’t depend on your job, it doesn’t depend on a health maintenance organization, and it doesn’t depend on whether you filled out the paperwork right. Those who (like me) oppose ObamaCare, need to understand (also like me, unfortunately) what it’s like to be serially rejected by insurance companies even though you’re perfectly healthy. It’s an enraging, anxiety-inducing, indelible experience, one that both softens the intellectual ground for increased government intervention and produces active resentment toward anyone who argues that the U.S. has “the best health care in the world.” Read more.

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Quote: "It’s not that I think it’s either feasible or advisable for the United States to adopt a single-payer, government-dominated system".

If the rest of the article, at www.tnr.com, doesn't explain why Jonathan Cohn says the above, then I wonder why he does have the above view; that the US should not "adopt a single-payer, government-dominated system". On one hand, the government is pervasively corrupt and this is one serious reason to worry about a "government-dominated" healthcare system of any kind, single-payer, or other. But on another hand, while thinking only in idealistic or theoretical terms, if the government was a truly Constitutional one, so one that was really [for, of, and by The People], and The People wanted [their] government bureaucracy to ensure guaranteed single-payer healthcare for [everyone], citizen and landed immigrant, while the care could also be extended to even visitors, and The People wanted [their] tax dollars to be used to provide this health care system, then I don't see why we shouldn't then have a government and, therefore, The People-dominated health care system.

Well, the latter, in today's reality, is very idealistic, no doubt about it; ... unfortunately. But I nevertheless wonder why Jonathan Cohn says his above-quoted words.

Comment, no. 2:

In the second paragraph, he says, "ObamaCare opponents often warn that a new system will lead to long waiting times, mountains of paperwork, and less choice among doctors. Yet on all three of those counts the French system is significantly better, not worse, than what the U.S. has now. ...".

What are those opponents based on, the degraded and degrading health care system in Quebec, Canada? From what I am aware of it, the system in that province has been on the decline for over a decade and the present PM, Jean Charest, has been pro-privatization; and this happens to be true. It's even been in Quebec news media reports, but we can also learn of it from residents of the province. I live in Quebec, but pay as little attention to it as possible; though if I was in Montreal, then I'd be a happy person. There's life, there.

Quebec, anyway, is what the above-quoted text reminds me of, and I doubt that France is this bad off for health care system. Maybe it is though; but if it is, then there are other European countries to look at. Which countries? I don't know, but some Americans seem to know, for I've read some interesting articles about all of this over the past few or serveral years at commondreams.org.

Cuba:

Cuba's system is apparently very good, and it was reported, while also [very] underreported, that Cuba sent or was sending around 400 doctors to Haiti after the Jan. 12th earthquake. If I recall correctly, from the little I read about this at www.globalresearch.ca, then Cuba perhaps already had around 400 doctors working in Haiti before the earthquake and was sending more; or Cuba had sent some before the earthquake, had sent more afterwards, and was again sending another 400 doctors. I don't know what the details are, but know to have noticed one or two articles about Cuba's contribution, and it's very significant, for Cuba's also been providing doctors in Venezuela, and possibly other countries; as well as accepting to educate and train Americans as long as they agreed to return to the USA to provide for the poor in our own country.

Cuba has sent Cuban doctors to Venezuela and possibly other countries with a lot of poor people, to provide health care, and the training and education received by the doctors in Cuba is apparently very good. I've never read or heard of Cuba demanding financial compensation for this humanitarian service, but if it's asked for some, then I doubt it amounts to much.

Cuba might be the better place to look if we wish to learn to really become [humanised], and the socially "diseased" societies of the West and, perhaps, esp. USA certainly are in need of serious humanisation; becoming [humane], caring for others. Every time we become more humane, we improve ourselves; the outcomes don't only benefit others, they also benefit ourselves. It's sort of like in the Bible or Gospels, where it says that for every good deed a person does for others, God will recompense seven-fold; or wording to such effect.

If the USA became like Cuba, benevolantly, then ... Wow, whoah, what a major improving change this'd make for this world!

Mike Corbeil

chouia

I've lived in France since the early 80's. Six months after arriving here and only 3 months after starting work I fell ill with a Deep vein thrombosis, cause unknown. A few months later I suffered another DVT and so it went on. I lost my job. And after my third or forth DVT I was sent to a specialist Hospital in Paris where after many tests they discovered that I suffered from a very rare blood disorder that plays havoc with my blood coagulation.
In ten years I must have have been admitted to ICU at least 30 times with DVT and PE, fortunately these hospitalizations are now less frequent thru' advances in treatment.

NOT ONCE did i have to pay or advance any money for the hospital stays, except for a small daily participation for 'Les frais de sejour' :eg food etc.
Transport to and from Hospital was also paid by the Social Security.

I now have a small pension also provided by the SS.

And all this after only paying into the Social Security for a few months.

You cannot believe how happy I am that France doesn't have a system like you yours!

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