Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Black Smoke?

Damn!  No Pappa.  Not yet, at least.  The smoke was black last night.

la descente aux enfers

From watching Telematin this morning it looks like the Men in Dresses have closed the doors and are arm wrestling, or whatever they really do in there, over who will be the next Prince of the Church.

I'm stunned.  But not from what you might think.

You see, my wife and I were in the kitchen cleaning the dishes.  I'd just finished washing a frying pan and Jude was drying it when she put her nose to the pan and said "here, smell this, it still smells like onions."

Being the dutiful and curious husband, I bent forward to put my nose where her's had just been.


Right between my eyes.

I'm stunned and backing up to lean against the frigo.  No time to say "ouch."  No brain capacity to process what just happened.  Yes.  I'm still stunned.  Jude's wet hands felt the pan's sudden shift and could do nothing to prevent the rather minor attack on her husband.

la descente aux enfers

Which brings me to the costs of healthcare here.  Had I needed a doctor, which I don't since the THONK to the head left only a Small Red Spot and there's nothing to be concerned about, it might not have cost me anything.

Here in France, unless something is urgent, you head to the pharmacy first to see if they can diagnose you and provide the right medicine or ointment or treatment.  If it's beyond their ability to help, they will send you on to a regular doctor.  Right then and there you can have an appointment made for the very same day.  Once your doctor's visit is done, you hand the Good Doctor between 21 and 24Euros and go home.

My wife and I carry major medical insurance.  It costs us around 2000USD a year total for the two of us.  And this is the expensive insurance.  Next year we will likely buy into a European plan and the price could drop as much as 40 percent over what we're currently paying.

Back in the United Corporate States of America, we paid 40USD to see a doctor _and_ had the privilege of paying an insurance company to manage, oh, I don't know, maybe how the money was best deposited to the CEO's bank account?  Each month we handed over 1200USD to the greedy unhelpful bastards.  Yes, that is 14,400USD _each and every year_ to claim the right to hold a piece of plastic that said we had something called "insurance."

la descente aux enfers

 See the difference?  Not yet?

OK, how about this: The United Corporate States of Greedy Business Bastards has you ranked number 37 in the world for healthcare.  Yes.  Number thirty seven.

Any guesses on who's Number One (and Everyone Loves a Winner, don't they?) in the world?  Oh dear.  You will have to scroll a Long Way down the Business Insider web page to see it.  So I will not hold you in suspense any longer.  It is France (and Everyone Loves a Winner, unless you are a medical industry CEO who doesn't want you to know you're paying Way Too Much for Every Thing in the UCSofGBB! and no! it is _not_ Mr Obama's fault as his approach is based on the German system of medical care which cuts out the Greedy Bastards and you've been held over a barrel by your Republican "business friendly" hoards for decades).

How can it be that the county that pays the most for health care in the world is ranked so low?

How is it that France provides the best care for it's citizenry at 2/3rd's the cost of the UCSofGBB?

When you take into account denied benefits (thank you UCSofGBB "insurance" companies), the cost of pharmaceuticals (have I yet mentioned that the cost of one of my wife's medicines here is less than 2Euro out of pocket for something we paid 20USD back in the UCSofGBB for the very same thing?), the fact that the medical industry lobbies the UCSofGBB more heavily than any business, and, finally, add the fact that "healthcare" in the UCSofGBB is a For Profit Business (as opposed to being a basic human right that everyone has access to) and you can see what drives cost.

la descente aux enfers

Pure and simple: It is greed.

Meanwhile, here in France, a social system has been in place for many decades that ensures quick, easy, efficient, cost effective access to healthcare.  Heaven forefend I refer to such a social systems as, oh, how shall I put it?, Socialism.

This leads me back to the beginning and il Pappa and the odds on favorite being the Archbishop of Milan.  It's time to turn on the TV to see if the smoke has turned white.  The costs of US medical care are no longer a concern for us, just so long as we stay away from that costly country.

News Update:  Il fume noir!   Nous n'avons pas un Pappa.  Bientot, peut-etre.  

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