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(Slate)   One American woman's healthcare horror story of giving birth in socialist France   (slate.com) divider line 238
    More: Interesting, Americans, government spending, medical, developed country  
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15624 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Jan 2014 at 2:39 PM (11 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-28 12:21:56 PM
having lived there, i can tell you that, yes there is a shiatload of paperwork and the taxes are high, but it's sooooo worth it.
 
2014-01-28 12:36:26 PM

FlashHarry: having lived there, i can tell you that, yes there is a shiatload of paperwork and the taxes are high, but it's sooooo worth it.


Paperwork in exchange for coverage? Sounds OK to me.
 
2014-01-28 12:43:24 PM
Could the paperwork really be any worse than it already is in the US? I am doubtful....
 
2014-01-28 12:47:06 PM
France is a proud welfare state, where public spending accounts for 53 percent of GDP-the second-highest percentage in the developed world

Good God, that's disgusting! Can you imagine paying half of your GDP on the PEOPLE?? won't someone think of the military contractors??
 
2014-01-28 12:48:07 PM
Having lived in France, Netherlands and Germany, I liked the French system but if a person really wants to see what a private/ public system can do and do well try the medical care in Holland. The Germans having pioneered  the idea of universal for its residents and does a very good job as well and all three countries spend about half of what the US spends per person for healthcare.  The Brits send people to all three countries for care and pay the foreign governments because for some strange reason any country that speaks English cannot do universal health care well. All three countries do have a legal system that treats medical malpractice as a crime with a type of schedule for payments to victims. So if anyone wants to blame the lawyers as the reason the US cannot have universal care they may be right.
 
2014-01-28 12:52:03 PM

eurotrader: Having lived in France, Netherlands and Germany, I liked the French system but if a person really wants to see what a private/ public system can do and do well try the medical care in Holland. The Germans having pioneered  the idea of universal for its residents and does a very good job as well and all three countries spend about half of what the US spends per person for healthcare.  The Brits send people to all three countries for care and pay the foreign governments because for some strange reason any country that speaks English cannot do universal health care well. All three countries do have a legal system that treats medical malpractice as a crime with a type of schedule for payments to victims. So if anyone wants to blame the lawyers as the reason the US cannot have universal care they may be right.


What happens if the "malpractice" can be shown to be truly an accident?

/TELL ME MORE! Please!
 
2014-01-28 12:57:14 PM

IgG4: Could the paperwork really be any worse than it already is in the US? I am doubtful....


Heck, they could hire the people already on welfare to show others how to fill it out, if my state is any example. But then, that would mean more jobs, sponsored by the gubment.


You know, I wouldn't have a problem with the way the gov't does things, if they would only do what they say they will, and say what they do. No doublespeak, no changing tactics halfway through your first year in office, just more transparency/accountability.

Free(near free) healthcare for all would help, too. >:(
 
2014-01-28 01:02:14 PM

tlars699: eurotrader: Having lived in France, Netherlands and Germany, I liked the French system but if a person really wants to see what a private/ public system can do and do well try the medical care in Holland. The Germans having pioneered  the idea of universal for its residents and does a very good job as well and all three countries spend about half of what the US spends per person for healthcare.  The Brits send people to all three countries for care and pay the foreign governments because for some strange reason any country that speaks English cannot do universal health care well. All three countries do have a legal system that treats medical malpractice as a crime with a type of schedule for payments to victims. So if anyone wants to blame the lawyers as the reason the US cannot have universal care they may be right.

What happens if the "malpractice" can be shown to be truly an accident?

/TELL ME MORE! Please!



Generally if it is an accident it is not malpractice. Normally Malpractice is considered the knowing or what a trained professional should know but taking an action contrary to that knowledge, being drunk or otherwise impaired is a crime. If a person is harmed during a medical procedure they can still receive money from the "government" and the care is without cost anyway. Granted the school system is setup to allow people to become Doctors with little to no cost, with a host of other differences in education as well.
 
2014-01-28 01:06:58 PM
A couple of years ago my family and I were in France, and while in Paris, my wife started getting pretty sick.  By to the time we got to Strasbourg, where we visiting a friend, it looked like it was turning into a fairly severe respiratory problem.  On Saturday morning, she was coughing like a terminal emphysema patient, and we figured she needed medical attention.  Our friend told us that the local doctors took turns keeping their office open on Saturdays for urgent care needs, and she would find out which doctor or doctors would see patients that day.  It turned out that a doctor a few blocks from her house was open, and when she called his office, they told us to just come by and wait our turn.

We showed up, and sat in the waiting room with maybe 4 or 5 other patients.  One guy decided that he thought he was either more important or sicker than everyone else and decided he should go in first, and our first view of the doctor was when he came out of his office into the waiting room, took the guy into the hallway, and proceeded to rip him a new one in a "Who the hell do you think you are, you asshole? These people aren't just hanging out here for fun, everyone is here because they're sick, just like you, so you have to wait like everyone else, now sit down and STFU and wait your turn, or GTFO" sort of rant (I may have missed some of the nuances because my French isn't that great, but that was the gist of it anyway).  Anyway, after waiting a not-too-long period of time (maybe 30-45 minutes, he called my wife in).

He spent about 30 minutes asking her questions, checking and rechecking her vitals, and making a diagnosis.  He gave her an inhaler of a drug that she had gotten a prescription for in the past in the U.S. (and that, as I recall, had a retail pharmacy price in the U.S. of around $250).  He told her that he didn't think it had turned into full-blown bronchitis yet and that he hoped it could be stopped before it got to that point, but gave her a prescription for an antibiotic and told her he didn't want her to fill right then, but to fill only if the inhaler hadn't worked and she didn't feel better in a couple of days.

When he was done, we went up to the window to pay, and he just waived us of and told us not to worry about it.  So, the cost for a 30-minute appointment and exam, on a Saturday, plus a $250 drug, for a foreigner who didn't pay into the health care system: $0.

Socialized medicine is awful, though.  Because socialism.  Or something.
 
2014-01-28 01:10:53 PM
I'm just glad there aren't any horror stories about health care in capitalist America.
 
2014-01-28 01:15:56 PM

eurotrader: The Brits send people to all three countries for care and pay the foreign governments because for some strange reason any country that speaks English cannot do universal health care well.


I thought Australia had a model public-private system, and Canada's system is always widely-touted.
 
2014-01-28 01:31:36 PM

Cyberluddite: Socialized medicine is awful, though. Because socialism. Or something.


I love it. One more notch in my belt of retiring to France.
 
2014-01-28 01:35:45 PM

Fark It: eurotrader: The Brits send people to all three countries for care and pay the foreign governments because for some strange reason any country that speaks English cannot do universal health care well.

I thought Australia had a model public-private system, and Canada's system is always widely-touted.



Having a wife that worked in a BC hospital and living there I know that at least the BC system is crap for anything other than routine medical care. Need an organ replaced or maybe joint replacement good luck. Biggest difference in the Canadian system is lack of speed. Even in the US if a person goes to the hospital and needs a cath it is done within hours, in Canada you get put on a list for  weeks to months for a procedure that is time sensitive. I have only visited the prison colony in the south and have no idea on their level of care.
 
2014-01-28 01:44:49 PM

kimwim: Cyberluddite: Socialized medicine is awful, though. Because socialism. Or something.

I love it. One more notch in my belt of retiring to France.


The Dordogne is offering some nice homes now at reduced prices even some with grapes. The tax structure is changing again and retirement is possible there from the US just start your forms a few years ahead, they have to go through Paris. I still prefer the south between St. Tropez and Nice, I like my beach to have sand not rocks
 
2014-01-28 01:52:25 PM

eurotrader: kimwim: Cyberluddite: Socialized medicine is awful, though. Because socialism. Or something.

I love it. One more notch in my belt of retiring to France.

The Dordogne is offering some nice homes now at reduced prices even some with grapes. The tax structure is changing again and retirement is possible there from the US just start your forms a few years ahead, they have to go through Paris. I still prefer the south between St. Tropez and Nice, I like my beach to have sand not rocks


http://about-france.com/regions/languedoc.htm  is the area we're looking at, I'm not sure about affordability now, though.
 
2014-01-28 01:56:01 PM

kronicfeld: I'm just glad there aren't any horror stories about health care in capitalist America.


Dead patients tell no tales
 
2014-01-28 02:01:47 PM
Yeah, I have French National Healthcare (I have French citizenship through my wife, live in the US), and it is basically Cadillac plan insurance that costs me $135 a month. The only problem, ironically, is that I don't know if it is ACA compliant, since the ACA probably doesn't contemplate national health insurance in its framework of compliant plans.
 
2014-01-28 02:11:59 PM
transparency in the price of medical care is a legal requirement in France

God we need this part desperately.
 
2014-01-28 02:17:16 PM
Right, but we are the greatest country in the history of the world.  We can't afford health care.
 
2014-01-28 02:37:19 PM

Cyberluddite: Socialized medicine is awful, though.  Because socialism.  Or something.


you know how we could fix this problem?
Just start killing the people who really believe this.

1) it would reduce the number of people in the healthcare system
2) it would increase the average IQ of the voting population
3) it would reduce the number of times a day that we have to hear that OBAMACARE is DESTROYING AMERICA

/- by the way, CSB - I really am amused by the healthcare reality outside of the US.
/how did these other countries get universal care and what was the US doing while this was happening EVERYWHERE ELSE ???
 
2014-01-28 02:42:34 PM

what_now: France is a proud welfare state, where public spending accounts for 53 percent of GDP-the second-highest percentage in the developed world

Good God, that's disgusting! Can you imagine paying half of your GDP on the PEOPLE?? won't someone think of the military contractors??


To be fair, they conducted nuclear tests well into the 90s.  So if you account for all the plutonium you have in your bones due to them, perhaps they should be spending more.
 
2014-01-28 02:42:55 PM

kimwim: eurotrader: kimwim: Cyberluddite: Socialized medicine is awful, though. Because socialism. Or something.

I love it. One more notch in my belt of retiring to France.

The Dordogne is offering some nice homes now at reduced prices even some with grapes. The tax structure is changing again and retirement is possible there from the US just start your forms a few years ahead, they have to go through Paris. I still prefer the south between St. Tropez and Nice, I like my beach to have sand not rocks

http://about-france.com/regions/languedoc.htm  is the area we're looking at, I'm not sure about affordability now, though.



Take a look in department 06 or 83 and rent a place for a few months to get a feel and if you have a chance head to a small village called Aups for a truffle menu you will not believe for a complete meal under $50. The best buys are still in the Dordogne centering around Cahors ( less than 100k can buy a decent livable freestanding house) and there is a large Dutch and English contingent in case you feel like speaking English every once in a while. Be prepared for bizarre amounts of paperwork and waiting to get simple things done like gas and electric turned on or put in your name. If serious look into a SCI  Société Civile Immobilière  it allows a lot of the headache to be reduced.
 
Remember the standard rule of the south any car with number plate 75  or German gets flipped off just because.
 
2014-01-28 02:43:26 PM

namatad: /how did these other countries get universal care and what was the US doing while this was happening EVERYWHERE ELSE ???


We were spending our money on the military, and funneling everything to a few rich people.
 
2014-01-28 02:44:37 PM

namatad: Cyberluddite: Socialized medicine is awful, though.  Because socialism.  Or something.

you know how we could fix this problem?
Just start killing the people who really believe this.

1) it would reduce the number of people in the healthcare system
2) it would increase the average IQ of the voting population
3) it would reduce the number of times a day that we have to hear that OBAMACARE is DESTROYING AMERICA

/- by the way, CSB - I really am amused by the healthcare reality outside of the US.
/how did these other countries get universal care and what was the US doing while this was happening EVERYWHERE ELSE ???


Because during the boom of the 2000's the other countries set this up, and we got tax breaks of 600$ per household?
 
2014-01-28 02:46:48 PM
http://about-france.com/regions/languedoc.htm  is the area we're looking at, I'm not sure about affordability now, though.

It kind of depends on how good you are at renovations apparently:

http://aude-france-property.com/properties_1.htm
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-01-28 02:47:52 PM
www.uspoliticsonline.com

So.. the public expenditure that goes towards healthcare in the US is only slightly less than the French public system.  Things that make you go hmmmm.
 
2014-01-28 02:48:21 PM
She surrendered the baby in France?
 
2014-01-28 02:48:32 PM
Wow. Free heath care!

Wonder where France gets the money to pay for that...

Oh.
 
2014-01-28 02:49:42 PM

IgG4: Could the paperwork really be any worse than it already is in the US? I am doubtful....


Less "Denial of Coverage" letters to send out must be a plus somehow ...
 
2014-01-28 02:49:43 PM
That's good. As long as someone else can pay your bills and you don't have to, I guess everything is great.
 
d23 [TotalFark]
2014-01-28 02:50:55 PM

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Wow. Free heath care!

Wonder where France gets the money to pay for that...

Oh.



OMG TAXES IS THEFT WAAAARRGGGBLBBBLLL

Maybe if we actually cared about people a little more and corporate profits a little less we'd do the same.
 
2014-01-28 02:51:11 PM
damn why didn't my wife get cancer in france? I already racked up $272,000 bill so far and were not even half way through it. What pisses me off the most, I gave them my tax returns for 2012/2013, we were declined for medicaid, soon after all the bills just poured in, it averages $13,000 a day she was in the hospital.
I'm fortunate the Cancer center is doing 100% because my wife's only 30, no income or healthcare, right now through charity she got her chemo for 8 months, the hospital just approved 80% coverage of her surgery to take out the cancer thing from her breast (she goes in tomarrow).
I'm going to plead and see if they will accept my info and reduce the 300k bill, there is aboslutely no way i can pay this or even a fraction of it.

Not sure whose more stressed, right now I'm close to just blowing my head off, 4 hours trying to plead for help with the hospital yesterday, they truly show they don't give a damn anymore, its all about money I don't have.

If I don't get myself help im falling off soon, this is serious bullshiat, and obamacare only screwed me to point I can't get healthcare now.
 
2014-01-28 02:51:34 PM
I work in a hospital.  I had a medical emergency and went to the hospital I work at.  I cannot afford to pay the bill from my own employer using the insurance they provided.  At least they are allowing me to cash in my saved up vacation time to pay part of it.
 
2014-01-28 02:54:49 PM
You need to look at the entire French economy before deciding how "wonderful," is their healthcare system.  But perhaps you would like to move ot France and experience it firsthand.  Lived in France and could not wait to get out.
 
2014-01-28 02:54:59 PM

d23: [www.uspoliticsonline.com image 400x299]

So.. the public expenditure that goes towards healthcare in the US is only slightly less than the French public system.  Things that make you go hmmmm.


Transparency in the costs would go a *LONG* way to fixing that problem.

When one hospital charges $3,000 for a procedure and another charges $30,000 for the exact same procedure, it becomes a problem.

Forcing hospitals to publish their fee structures would go a long way to foster competition and bring down the cost of health care.
 
2014-01-28 02:56:15 PM

eurotrader: Fark It: eurotrader: The Brits send people to all three countries for care and pay the foreign governments because for some strange reason any country that speaks English cannot do universal health care well.

I thought Australia had a model public-private system, and Canada's system is always widely-touted.


Having a wife that worked in a BC hospital and living there I know that at least the BC system is crap for anything other than routine medical care. Need an organ replaced or maybe joint replacement good luck. Biggest difference in the Canadian system is lack of speed. Even in the US if a person goes to the hospital and needs a cath it is done within hours, in Canada you get put on a list for  weeks to months for a procedure that is time sensitive. I have only visited the prison colony in the south and have no idea on their level of care.



I live in Canada and I've found their health care to be pretty amazing.    My kids are twins and when they were born there were about 12 people in the operating theatre (it was a metaphorical circus).  From our first appointment to the last kid leaving the hospital the cost to us:   zero
 
2014-01-28 02:56:32 PM

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Wow. Free heath care!

Wonder where France gets the money to pay for that...

Oh.


Well that was silly. Were we supposed to be at all surprised?
 
2014-01-28 02:56:45 PM

Misconduc: damn why didn't my wife get cancer in france? I already racked up $272,000 bill so far and were not even half way through it. What pisses me off the most, I gave them my tax returns for 2012/2013, we were declined for medicaid, soon after all the bills just poured in, it averages $13,000 a day she was in the hospital.
I'm fortunate the Cancer center is doing 100% because my wife's only 30, no income or healthcare, right now through charity she got her chemo for 8 months, the hospital just approved 80% coverage of her surgery to take out the cancer thing from her breast (she goes in tomarrow).
I'm going to plead and see if they will accept my info and reduce the 300k bill, there is aboslutely no way i can pay this or even a fraction of it.

Not sure whose more stressed, right now I'm close to just blowing my head off, 4 hours trying to plead for help with the hospital yesterday, they truly show they don't give a damn anymore, its all about money I don't have.

If I don't get myself help im falling off soon, this is serious bullshiat, and obamacare only screwed me to point I can't get healthcare now.


Have you talked to a bankruptcy attorney?
 
2014-01-28 02:56:58 PM
Yeah, but all she got in the end was a French baby!
 
2014-01-28 02:57:04 PM
But we can't do that in America. It is simply impossible. We were able to conquer the entire continent, build railroads, roads, and canals across it, defeat the Axis powers in four years, defeat Communism, put men on the moon, cure diseases, and all other kinds of wondrous things. But we cannot provide good quality health care to our citizens for a reasonable price. It's just not possible. Why? Because something, something, socialism, Jesus, something. Or something like that. Anyway, it's just too hard.
 
2014-01-28 02:57:14 PM

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Wow. Free heath care!

Wonder where France gets the money to pay for that...

Oh.


yes, in france your taxes actually go for something useful instead of bridges to nowhere and illegal wars.

thanks for making that point!
 
2014-01-28 02:57:47 PM

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Wow. Free heath care!

Wonder where France gets the money to pay for that...

Oh.


Ya know, I am happy to pay taxes if I'm actually getting something out of the deal. As opposed to giving Uncle Sam over a third of my paycheck for... killing brown people overseas, I guess.
 
2014-01-28 02:57:55 PM
Childbirth in the United States is such a mess that I have actually had nightmares about giving birth here. Ugh.
 
2014-01-28 02:57:59 PM

eurotrader: kimwim: Cyberluddite: Socialized medicine is awful, though. Because socialism. Or something.

I love it. One more notch in my belt of retiring to France.

The Dordogne is offering some nice homes now at reduced prices even some with grapes. The tax structure is changing again and retirement is possible there from the US just start your forms a few years ahead, they have to go through Paris. I still prefer the south between St. Tropez and Nice, I like my beach to have sand not rocks


Wait, what? You can be a US citizen living in the US and go retire in France? You don't have to have worked there? I assume if you just retire there, you're not going to get that sweet, free health care, right? That would require working and paying income taxes... one would think. Tell me more.

/retiring in 25-30 years
//cry
 
2014-01-28 02:58:21 PM

d23: Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Wow. Free heath care!

Wonder where France gets the money to pay for that...

Oh.


OMG TAXES IS THEFT WAAAARRGGGBLBBBLLL

Maybe if we actually cared about people a little more and corporate profits a little less we'd do the same.


Corporations are people. Study it out. If ya can't do the math on that, then I don't know what to tell ya.
 
2014-01-28 02:58:23 PM

Joe Peanut: Yeah, but all she got in the end was a French baby!


Nothing but "wee wee" now until someone's potty trained.
 
2014-01-28 02:58:45 PM
Have had two kids in New Zealand public health system, cost ZERO. Both were by C-section (one elective.... the other very much emergency). The standard of care including the mid wives... doctors etc was amazing. Pre and post care for my wife ...... free!

Accident and Emergency care.... free! All doctors visits for under 5's free. There are waiting lists for public health operations however .... but have super cheap health insurance from not-for profit co-op.

Need knee operation due to soccer injury..... Free.

Cost of health care per person is about1/3 of the US.
 
2014-01-28 02:59:19 PM

Satan's Bunny Slippers: Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Wow. Free heath care!

Wonder where France gets the money to pay for that...

Oh.

Well that was silly. Were we supposed to be at all surprised?


Actually, some people probably are.
 
2014-01-28 03:00:36 PM

what_now: France is a proud welfare state, where public spending accounts for 53 percent of GDP-the second-highest percentage in the developed world

Good God, that's disgusting! Can you imagine paying half of your GDP on the PEOPLE?? won't someone think of the military contractors??


That's why the GOP is so against public programs. If we balance the budget and provide a safety net, we all know where much of that money will come from.

/except for programs that pay for themselves through participant taxes or donations or whatever
 
2014-01-28 03:01:21 PM

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Satan's Bunny Slippers: Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Wow. Free heath care!

Wonder where France gets the money to pay for that...

Oh.

Well that was silly. Were we supposed to be at all surprised?

Actually, some people probably are.


I doubt that.  Most people understand what a higher tax would pay for in this country, and would be willing to pay that.

Nothing is free.  However, we can all help defray the costs.
 
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