The French may have a few complaints about their Assurance Maladie, their government-sponsored universal healthcare, but if you ask any citizen of France if they would trade their healthcare system for American private insurance, they would laugh. Even after several trips to France, I had never given much thought to that fact until six weeks ago, while vacationing in Paris. One evening, I missed a curb and fell on the street, fracturing my left femur. I had surgery the next day at Cochin Hospital in Paris and spent three days there. I had excellent care, and the surgery, according to my Florida orthopedic surgeon, was perfect. It was also free.
The citizens of England, Australia, Germany, Sweden, France and at least 13 other countries enjoy government-sponsored universal healthcare. Not many of them would rather be put in the position that millions of Americans now face of losing healthcare for their families or going bankrupt trying to pay for needed care. It simply doesn’t seem right that a corporation should profit entirely from the illness and misfortune of any of us. If the rest of the industrialized world can figure this out, why can’t we?
Gwynne Chesher, Wellington