Thursday, June 11, 2009

Right wing and Obama write France out of existence

One of the things that is irritating me is that everybody seems to be ignoring the best healthcare system on the planet -- the French one. In terms of cost, the French system is half the cost of the U.S. system (see p7 of that paper) or, if you prefer figures as a percentage of GDP, only 2/3rds the cost of the U.S. system. Yet on *every* health care statistic, France comes out better than the United States. Access to doctors? France has 3.4 physicians per 1000 population. The U.S.? Only 2.4 physicians per 1000 population. Hospital beds? France: 7.7 per 1,000 people. US: 3.3 per 1,000 people. Waiting lists? Nope, no waiting lists. Infant mortality rate? France 3.33 per 1,000, USA 6.3 per 1,000. Life span? 81 years vs. 78 years. And note that France has a large minority population of 3rd worlders from Africa, so it's not because France has fewer ghettos or dark-skinned people than the USA. Thus while Japan has better numbers on pretty much everything than France, I excluded it from my list of systems to study because Japan is a very mono-ethnic country -- no significant numbers of 3rd world ghetto dwellers there. Thus it's clearer that France's medical system could work quite well for the United States.

The world has taken notice. When 3rd world tinpot tyrants need medical care, they go to France now, not the United States. The care is cheaper and at least equal in quality, if not better. So what's the price, you ask? Does France have less medical innovation? No. Per capita they have as much medical innovation as the US, not surprising since most US health innovation comes from the National Institutes of Health and universities, not from private industry. Indeed, the only real price appears that the French whine a lot about paying half as much for medical care as the US does -- they think it's too expensive. If that's the price for having the best healthcare in the world -- having to listen to a lot of people whine that it's too expensive even at half the price of the US system -- I'll take it!

But of course, at this point the tighty righties start grumbling, "the United States would not be able to implement single-payer as cheaply and efficiently and effectively as the French." For shame! I cannot believe these unpatriotic people, believing that by-god AMERICANS can't do things as well as the FRENCH can! Have they no patriotism? No pride? We are AMERICANS, we can do anything we darn well WANT to do! The nerve of these "can't-do" conservatives and their culture of failure... me, I'm a member of the OLD America, the REAL America, the CAN-DO America that can do ANYTHING as good as -- or better than -- any other nation in the world, and if we put our mind to it I bet we can even do it BETTER than the French! For SHAME that these unpatriotic can't-do "Americans" refuse to believe in America and Americans and believe French people are smarter and more capable than Americans! Well, you know what they say about unpatriotic people. If they don't believe in America and Americans, they should just move to some other country. I'm sure France will take them, since they're saying French people are smarter and better than Americans. Heh.

-- Badtux the Snarky Healthcare Penguin


  1. I agree B/T, how is it that the only action that so many seem willing to take is no action whatsoever. Hopefully the far right will marginalize themselves to a point of political insignificance, but with so many lemmings supporting them, that may never happen.

  2. David Sedaris had a great story on his experience with the French healthcare system. I was laughing for hours afterward and trying to figure out a way to move there.

  3. notihng good is going to come of this debate - the political system will ensure the govt makes a bad health care problem even worse

    i watched larry elder spew out lie after lie about health care - especially that the 47+ million that dont have access DONT WANT IT

  4. There is one big difference between the Americans and the French. If the French government screws with their healthcare, there will be protests and burning tires in the street. Say what you will about the French but they know how to protest.

    Assuming that there is any kind of reform be it single payer or the crap that they are proposing in Washington, when president 45 says we got to rein in its costs, the sheeple will just say "baaaah" and it will happen.


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