France's hot First Lady
One quick disclaimer: We hate France.
We hate the French.
We hate Napoleon.
We hate DeGaulle.
We hate Charles Aznavour.
We hate Jerry Lewis just because the French love him.
We like Carla Bruni, but only because she's hot.
That being said,
France's friggin' healthcare system has been held up as
the perfect example, the ideal,
the epitome of what America's healthcare should look like.
So it is with great pleasure that we pass along
this report from the Wall Street Journal:
"… soaring costs are pushing the system into crisis.
The result: As Congress fights over whether America should
be more like France,
the French government is trying to borrow U.S. tactics.
In recent months, France imposed American-style
"co-pays" on patients to try to throttle back
prescription-drug costs and forced state hospitals
to crack down on expenses.
"A hospital doesn't need to be money-losing to
provide good-quality treatment,"
President Nicolas Sarkozy thundered in
a recent speech to doctors.
And service cuts — such as the closure of
a maternity ward near
Ms. Cuccarolo's home — are prompting complaints
from patients, doctors and nurses that care
is being rationed.
That concern echos worries among some Americans
that the U.S. changes could lead to rationing.
The French system's fragile solvency shows how tough
it is to provide universal coverage while
controlling costs, the professed twin goals
of President Barack Obama's proposed overhaul.
French taxpayers fund a state health insurer,
Assurance Maladie, proportionally to their income,
and patients get treatment even if
they can't pay for it.
France spends 11% of national output on
health services, compared with 17% in the U.S.,
and routinely outranks the U.S.
in infant mortality and some other health measures.
The problem is that Assurance Maladie has been
in the red since 1989.
This year the annual shortfall is expected
to reach €9.4 billion ($13.5 billion),
and €15 billion in 2010, or roughly 10% of its budget.
Fabulous. If President Obama has
his way we'll have a healthcare system just
like the French.
It'll be ugly as Charles DeGaulle,
expensive as Bridget Bardot,
and effective as the French army.
Source: Wall Street Journal
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