Friday, November 03, 2006

French is Better In More Ways Than Wine and Cheese

Thanks to a tip from Steve Bates over at Yellow Doggerel Democrat I have just finished reading one of the best synopsis' of why a single payer health system is what we need in the U.S. If you have a few minutes you should go read it. It is at MaxSpeak


Here is the lead paragraph...

Healthcare is a right, not a luxury like caviar. Healing the sick is a moral obligation. But, the American medical system is broken for all of us – not just for the uninsured.

People in more than forty nations live years longer than we do, and see fewer of their babies die[1]; people in twenty are ill fewer days[2]. We have fewer doctors, nurses and hospital beds per patients than many other rich nations[3]. In high tech medicine, where we used to excel, France and Japan have more access to advanced devices such as MRIs than we do, without wait times3. Most U.S. patients treated for serious illness receive around half the procedures high quality treatment would require[4]; this applies not only to poor and middle class patients, but even to wealthy ones. Private health insurance does not provide Americans with the high quality health care most other rich nations routinely receive[5].
I've talked about my experiences with the French single payer system here a couple of times. It is recognized by the WHO as the best system in the world. The French pay half of what we pay for health care and everyone is covered, have access to many more doctors and hospitals and are healthier and live longer than we do. I have been ridiculed by my GOP/conservative colleagues for speaking positively about the French system. To them anything French is bound to be inferior but the reality is that we are stupid if we don't adopt the exact same system.

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