The Blog Post Every American Needs to Read

Want a real life story about the French healthcare system? Not a story from a guy some guy knows who is a friend of a colleague, but from an American who, while in Paris on vacation, had to suffer the indignity of that socialist country’s terrible emergency healthcare system? Read it now.

Sometimes it’s best to start a long story at the very end. In the case of my emergency eye problems in France, it’s the part of the story where the French medical system keeps refusing to let me pay for my $3000 surgery.

Go on. Click that link!

And pass it along!

2 thoughts on “The Blog Post Every American Needs to Read

  1. Some Zoosters know this already, but for any newcomers…..

    How much would open heart surgery cost in America?

    In the 1960’s in the UK the Department of Health every year would send doctors to schools to check the basic health of every schoolkid.
    During one of these check-ups my 13 year-old brother was discovered to have arrhythmia.
    X-rays were arranged and they clearly showed a hole in his heart the size of a silver dollar.

    It hadn’t been detected before because before coming to the UK in 1960 my family lived in Bermuda ( where my brother was born). then Bahrain and then India and medical exams were neither mandatory nor in any way sophisticated).

    My brother would need open heart surgery.

    My father was the breadwinner. He couldn’t afford a car, we had no television, no fridge, the washing machine had a mangle on it. All my clothes were hand-me-downs and/or made by my mother. Our house looked middle-class, but at age 4 I was still sleeping in a crib to stave off the expense of buying me my own bed. The house looked middle-class but we were poor.

    The surgery my brother needed to save his life was still “experimental”–apparently only five other hole-in-the-heart operations had been conducted in the UK at that time.

    Had we been subject to the present American private health-insurance system my brother could have been rejected for having a pre-existing condition, or if not then such surgery would have cost my more than the portage value of our house (‘bought’ at 6400 pounds, but which cost 42,000 pounds by the time it was paid-off).

    The cost of the surgery, his weeks in recovery and a lifetime of specialist checkups were paid for by the weekly 1 Pound/3-dollar ( at that time) contributions automatically taken-out of my father’s –and everyone else’s paycheck that went into the “single-payer, universal” National Health System (the NHS).

    Though such a system can naturally be run with varying degrees of effectiveness and competency it;s usually due to the pressure of free-market forces and attitudes that regard basic health as a commodity to be exploited rather than an investment in the common good.

    A universal single payer health system works like a bucket-brigade where everyone pitches in; small fires are doused with small regular efforts and rarer big fires are dealt-with by communal effort.

    Under the present US system a 13-year old boy would have died, or a family would have been made homeless.

    Ant to be utterly cynical about it, wouldn’t the implementation of such a system simply guarantee millions of votes for the political party that proposed such a policy?

    Oh, yeah… right… I forgot.

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