FWIW, I lived in France for 4 years.  So I was covered by the French
system (I had a job).  It worked well.  Also, there was a coexistence
of the private and public world.  My wife had knee surgery in a private
hospital.  The government paid the private hospital the same fee that it
would pay for the procedure in a public hospital.  Then it was up to you
to pay the balance.  In this case, it was free because my wealthy
employer (Schlumberger) had supplemental insurance for these things.

My oldest son was born in a public hospital, w/o any use of the supplemental
insurance.  Not a fancy place, but it was OK.

So, no worries if we end up with a system like France.  However, France is
France and this is the USA.  All of the docs, nurses, etc. made less money
than in the US.  And French people, for reasons both legal and cultural,
aren't as aggressive in clamoring for expensive treatments.

I'm a big believer in health care reform.  Single payer is probably best,
but this country is not ready for it at the moment.


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