Can You Guess What Is Skyrocketting In France?

If you guessed “the cost of universal government run health care,” the tequila is on me

France Fights Universal Care’s High Cost

France claims it long ago achieved much of what today’s U.S. health-care overhaul is seeking: It covers everyone, and provides what supporters say is high-quality care. But 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.

Wait, what? Costs are going up, and they are trying to do emmulate the United States?

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.

Yup, trying to emulate America.

And, guess what else

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.

So far, not one supporter of the Democrats government run health care plans can explain exactly HOW said plans will reduce costs. Words and phrases such as “rationing” and “denial of service” come to mind.

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.

Now, imagine that system in the United States, where health care is 17% of the outlay, versus only 11% in France. And, as you all know, we are a much larger and much more populous country than France.

The quasi-monopoly of Assurance Maladie makes it the country’s largest buyer of medical services. That gives it clout to keep the fees charged by doctors low. About 90% of general practitioners in France have an agreement with Assurance Maladie specifying that they can’t charge more than €22 (about $32) for a consultation. For house calls they can add €3.50 to the bill.

By comparison, under Medicare, doctors are paid $91.97 for a first visit and $124.97 for a moderately complex consultation, according to the American College of Physicians.

In France, “If you are in medical care for the money, you’d better change jobs,” says Marc Lanfranchi, a general practitioner from Nancy, an eastern town. On the other hand, medical school is paid for by the government, and malpractice insurance is much cheaper.

And the answer to a very expensive education, followed by years of working 12+ hour days, and finally getting to the point where one can start paying that money back and having a life, but being told you’ll get Burger King wages is………fewer people going into the medical profession. So add another phrase “massively long lines waiting to see the few medical professionals left.”

But, if you are against government health care, you are un-American.

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