France: The system is imploding, just like ours.
Originally Posted by Catawba
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.
In recent months, France imposed American-style "co-pays" on patients to try to throttle back prescription-drug costs and forced state hospitals to crack down on expenses. "A hospital doesn't need to be money-losing to provide good-quality treatment," President Nicolas Sarkozy thundered in a recent speech to doctors.
And service 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 French system's fragile solvency shows how tough it is to provide universal coverage while controlling costs, the professed twin goals of President Barack Obama's proposed overhaul.
All the European systems are imploding for the same structural reasons. Aging populations. Here is a report on the Europe-wide phenomenon. In fact there problems are worse that ours in that their populations have a higher ratio of elderly people than the US, and the elderly are the biggest cause of health care inflation.