Wednesday, August 12, 2009

France Fights Universal Care's High Cost

France is often touted as a shining example of how governments can provide universal health care in a cost-effective manner. Hence, as the flaws in Canada and England become more apparent to Americans, many on the political left are pointing to France as the model to emulate.

But the August 7, 2009 Wall Street Journal tells a different story. Here are a few excerpts from their aritcle, "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.
One key problem is that the system is founded on socialist premises:
...French taxpayers fund a state health insurer, Assurance Maladie, proportionally to their income, and patients get treatment even if they can't pay for it.
In other words, following the Marxist principle of, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need".

The inevitable result:
...[S]ervice 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.
The American Pilgrims learned the error of the socialist approach the hard way in 1623 with respect to food production.

Let's hope today's Americans don't have to relearn the same lesson the hard way with respect to health care.