More Health Care Comparisons Between France and the U.S.


Am I crazy for preferring to consume health care in France rather than in the United States? If so, I am joined in mania with the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Hans Bader, who has also dabbled in the stuff care of a French wife. From a piece Bader wrote about health care legislation three weeks back:

The bill will also increase taxes to "European levels of taxation," while failing to provide European-style universal coverage.  It will vastly increase the costs of our health care system, rather than reducing it to European levels.   It reinforces foolish restrictions on national competition in health insurance, which do not exist in Europe.

And you cannot get sued for such behavior in my country!

Doctors afraid of being wrongly sued for malpractice despite providing good quality care order unnecessary tests (or defensive medicine), which wastes at least $200 billion annually.  That's nearly as much money as France spends on health-care for all its citizens.  The bill does nothing to reduce such costs, ignoring lessons from Europe.  (Many European countries have specialized health courts, rather than American-style jury trials, to cut lawyers' bills, speedily compensate the injured, and prevent American-style baseless lawsuits against doctors.)

In European countries like France, doctors don't need to be paid as much, because competing professions, like lawyers, are paid less.  European law is generally much more conservative than American law when it comes to lawsuits, including lawsuits against doctors.  Punitive damages are generally forbidden, and lawsuits are discouraged by making unsuccessful plaintiffs pay the other side's legal bills.

Whole thing here. For a rich variety of health care coverage and proposals, please buy our January issue, currently leaking onto newsstands as we speak (or subscribe already!). In the meantime, click this link.