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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It rocks.

My wife has had to get an injection into her retina every 7-8 weeks.

In the US the cost of each shot, as charged to Blue Cross (insurance), is $3500. Once the deductible is met there's no out-of-pocket cost but the first couple carry a charge to the patient of around $700 each.

The "list" cost of each shot, i.e. what would be charged to someone without health insurance, in the US is $8400.

She just had her first shot in France done by an excellent retina specialist, paying for it herself as a private patient, and the cost came to less than 160€ (around $200).

Ta-da!
 

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And as I often say to folks in a "darker" vein - Welcome to France! The "cost control" over medical fees is one of the best things about living in France and the whole French medical system.

I have a friend who lived here in France for 20 years, and who has all sorts of medical problems/issues. Her husband decided that they had to return to the US (admittedly for "noble" reasons related to family matters). But it's heartbreaking to hear what they've been going through back in the US to try to attend to her health issues.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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is it for macular degeneration? Just a guess. I know that requires eyeball shots. Anyway, for sure it's way cheaper here than the US. I still can't get over the one time I went to a dermatologist in a hospital (in Paris) and the entire thing, with no insurance...which included an impromptu blood draw, was 50 euros. In American it'd be, what, $600? $1000?
 

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It would cost the same in the US if Bernie was elected but the world would be a much, much worse place....Even with the hurricanes.

Americas problem is the insurance companies and the few that exploit the loopholes in supposedly doctor malpractice.

A real American would never pay for anothers well being - there are churches, non-profits and the cities taxes that pay for that; the USA is not a socialist country and never will be. Work or die. Study or die. Very simple..
 

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A lot depends on how you see a civilised society.....and that's a great debate in itself.


Also,' if you are working, young, fit and healthy then you are not so keen on taxes to support health care.......the older, more infirm you get then your opinons may change?

DejW


It would cost the same in the US if Bernie was elected but the world would be a much, much worse place....Even with the hurricanes.

Americas problem is the insurance companies and the few that exploit the loopholes in supposedly doctor malpractice.

A real American would never pay for anothers well being - there are churches, non-profits and the cities taxes that pay for that; the USA is not a socialist country and never will be. Work or die. Study or die. Very simple..
 

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I don't believe that the health care situation in the US is as "simple" as most folks like to portray it. Yes, the profit-based insurance companies have a hand in the situation, but the complete rejection of "regulation" by the government also plays a big role in why things there are so f... , er, "messed" up. Then, there are numerous "societal" factors that aggravate an already bad situation.

There seems to be a great call now in the US for "single party payer" health coverage. When you think about it, the French system is anything BUT "single party" - what with the sécu and the need for a mutuelle to top things off. Doctors in most European countries make one-third to one-half as much as US doctors, and still manage to be among the best paid professions in their respective countries. And the governments cap or set drug prices and monitor prescription usage pretty carefully (only natural, given that they are paying a large chunk of the bill).

I'm afraid it's not an easy fix for the US system - and like they say, "a fish stinks from the head." Until the problems in government are fixed (or at least ameliorated) ain't nothing going to change further down the chain.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Also,' if you are working, young, fit and healthy then you are not so keen on taxes to support health care.......the older, more infirm you get then your opinons may change?

DejW

You have a very very valid point.
 

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the USA is not a socialist country and never will be. Work or die. Study or die. Very simple..
Okay that sounds psychopathic to me. If that's what being a "real American" is, then, I'm not sorry I left! And I don't care about being viewed as a "true" American anyway, never did care. And I think there are many (real) American citizens who don't feel that way. Anyway, at the end of the day, we're all humans just trying to get by during our short span of existence on this stupid spinning rock...
 

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It's generally accepted that you need to spread the costs of health care among the people. The US does this by having a large and thriving health insurance industry. The whole point of insurance is that you are speading the risks and the costs.....all based on the origins of insurance in the shipping business.

Some countries decide to make the insurance scheme part of the Government world. There are arguments for and against this. Most of Europe has a government health insurance scheme in one form or another. Example..the French and UK health care systems are very different, but both are based on the concept that everybody pays and you get what you need when you are sick. I'm lost with Obama care, but the concept is insurance is alive and well in the US.

DejW
 

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Except that, in the US version of insurance, they seem to want to make people pay according to what their needs are likely to be. Not much spreading of the risk these days. If you were sick, you have to pay more because you're more likely to get sick again. (OK, Obamacare eliminated that - but they're trying to go back to the "bad old days" at the moment.)

The concept of insurance is kind of perverted in the US, if you ask me. And actually, there are a number of national healthcare systems in the world that are based on private insurance (properly regulated) - Switzerland, the Netherlands and Japan are the ones I know of.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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It would cost the same in the US if Bernie was elected but the world would be a much, much worse place....Even with the hurricanes.

Americas problem is the insurance companies and the few that exploit the loopholes in supposedly doctor malpractice.

A real American would never pay for anothers well being - there are churches, non-profits and the cities taxes that pay for that; the USA is not a socialist country and never will be. Work or die. Study or die. Very simple..
No offense intended and this is just a general question: Isn't this forum about issues relating to expats living in France, and not about opinions about what is going on in the States from Belgians living in Spain? Because if not, I have an English friend living in New York who has some really corking opinions about Belgium.
 

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As you may have noticed, we do have a tendency to drift. But we're still talking about health care - and it IS a "discussion" forum.

Have considered moving this whole thread to the Bistro - yet the discussion IS still kind of relevant to those considering a move to France (from wherever).

But the short answer is that we don't check or evaluate credentials before allowing folks to post.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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The cost of dental care is also far lower in France. I was lucky in the UK to come out from a check up and clean and pay under £200. Here it is 28€. Yes, the waiting room is like a 50s Dorset vets, but once through the door of his surgery, it is like being on the Enterprise and...I can watch TV while prone on the white leather chair.
 

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Isuault, if you had to pay 200 pounds in the U.K. for that dental treatment you were conned. After having chemo I decided to go privately as I felt I could be more assertive about only having a clean and no other treatment. Cost 38 pounds. Dentist was attached to Sainsburys, so one of a chain.
 

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Isuault, if you had to pay 200 pounds in the U.K. for that dental treatment you were conned. After having chemo I decided to go privately as I felt I could be more assertive about only having a clean and no other treatment. Cost 38 pounds. Dentist was attached to Sainsburys, so one of a chain.
I lived in central London so everything was more expensive. Believe me I am the last person who can be conned. Living in a large diverse city like London there are serious health reasons you need to take into account when having dental treatment including that the dentist uses an autoclave after each patient, many do not. When it comes to health for good reasons I am extremely cautious.
 

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It's generally accepted that you need to spread the costs of health care among the people. The US does this by having a large and thriving health insurance industry. The whole point of insurance is that you are speading the risks and the costs.....all based on the origins of insurance in the shipping business.

Some countries decide to make the insurance scheme part of the Government world. There are arguments for and against this. Most of Europe has a government health insurance scheme in one form or another. Example..the French and UK health care systems are very different, but both are based on the concept that everybody pays and you get what you need when you are sick. I'm lost with Obama care, but the concept is insurance is alive and well in the US.

DejW
I think you are right. It is more complicated than just a country full of psychopaths.

From what I observe in my family members, they have been fed false ideas.

At this moment, I have a discussion visible in my facebook feed in which my father is participating, on healthcare, and alternatives to Obamacare.

My first reflex was to jump in and contradict him completely publicly, but I just decided to stay out. He has spent lots of time here, he was here one week ago, and yet he was writing that he is familiar with France and their huge struggle with their "single payer" system which is causing us to suffer terribly.

He has been told countless times, by many of us, the situation here. He has SEEN it. This last week, my cousin who has multiple sclerosis was also here, and we looked into the cost of his treatment here (which is just unbelievable over there) and found he would be out of his mind not to come live here. He lost his job because he was diagnosed, his insurance dropped him, and then his wife did. He is broke, has two small children he has custody of, and no insurance will take him. The pills he must take daily cost over a thousand dollars each there!

We're talking life or death here! The whole family (we had a wedding, so 14 family members came over) got to really see the contrast....

and here he is defending the superiority of the US healthcare system in a debate.
:frusty:

I think, brainwashing is almost impossible to overcome.

My husband has worked for many years in the pharmaceutical industry, and so does a cousin of mine in the US, so we've spent a lot of time looking into the differences.

It is, without a doubt, the lack of regulations or control over the pricing that causes the worst problem. This is what the majority of the american are against, in the name of capitalism. The same medicine here (same brand) costs at least four times as much over there.

The Obamacare thing did not deal with this problem.
They have been very misinformed about the system in France - they are told it is single payer like the UK and Canada, there are no private practices or hospitals and the consumer has no choice. They are told the quality of the care is horrendous.

They have no clue, and witnessing it first hand doesn't open their eyes (for some, I guess).

When it comes to this subject, I start to feel North Koreans and Americans have much more in common than they assume...
 

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Do you guys have a carte vitale? If so, I wonder if your wife's situation qualifies for ALD (Affection de Longue Duree) or "cent pourcent" status. As I understand it, the purpose of the program is to squarely confront chronic conditions and make sure they are treated properly and timely rather than allowing them to degenerate.

I have a chronic hereditary lung condition that was only diagnosed after our move to France. It requires weekly treatments. At first, my ALD application was turned down, but my pulmo in Nice, one of the top people in the world in his field, wrote a letter of contestation, and CPAM immediately reversed the decision.

Just remember that this is 100% of the statutorily authorized cost. I think that while MD's can charge depassements (overrides) that exceed the approved rates, meds everywhere are the same. If I'm wrong on this, I'm sure more knowledgeable posters to the blog will correct my misapprehension. I can only tell you that since the ALD certification has come through, I have not paid anything for meds. Important in that in the USA they would be hideously expensive.

Finally, while I'm probably not supposed to do this, I can't resist giving you a huge thumbs up on your comments on America. Our beloved native land is fighting for its soul. Both septuagenarian retirees, my wife and I could not imagine a more perfect environment than we have here. And yet, I miss the fight. I sign some of my emails "Un lieu d'asile en France."
 

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Finally, while I'm probably not supposed to do this, I can't resist giving you a huge thumbs up on your comments on America. Our beloved native land is fighting for its soul. Both septuagenarian retirees, my wife and I could not imagine a more perfect environment than we have here. And yet, I miss the fight. I sign some of my emails "Un lieu d'asile en France."
No reason at all not to give thumbs up. There's no restriction on "talking politics" here as long as you do so politely, with respect for other posters. (Not to mention that I agree with you completely.)

Americans have been taught that their system is inevitably the "best in the world." But as a little kid, for some reason I got it into my head that, of course that would be what every country teaches their people, so somehow I learned to simply discount all that stuff.

I think the reason Bluesma's father can't "see" the benefits of the French health care system is, first of all, he's not affected by it so anything he knows of it is mere "hear-say" and secondly, he has never been in a situation to have benefited by the system in a big way. Even those in the US who hold up the French system as a shining model really don't understand how it works - witness the Michael Moore film, Sicko, which makes any number of excellent points, while misrepresenting how the various European systems work.

It takes living in France a while to learn your way around the system, and I'll be the first to admit that at first I found it very confusing and frustrating. But that was because I didn't know how it worked. All it takes is a "big ticket" illness or accident to suddenly realize the key differences. For me it was having appendicitis and realizing that the only bill in the end was for the TV and the phone in my room during my hospital stay. (OK, my husband's heart surgery was more of an "oh-my-gawd" moment cause I was referring to the US websites to research the procedure and they all mentioned the out-of-pocket costs.) But think, too, of the Boston Marathon terrorist event where the local hospitals offered to treat victims for free (at least if they lost limbs) vs. the Bataclan attack in Paris, where the issue never came up because it was just assumed victims would be treated with no mention of costs to them.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Americans have been taught that their system is inevitably the "best in the world." But as a little kid, for some reason I got it into my head that, of course that would be what every country teaches their people, so somehow I learned to simply discount all that stuff.
I spent most of the 70s living in the UK and had excellent treatment under the NHS and I learned early that a well run national health insurance system was a great thing to have.

Yes, there was waiting at various times, but I had a perfect antidote for that. I brought a book.

I caught hepatitis (from a Typhoid-Mary cook at the local burger joint) while in college and it was seen to quickly and efficiently.

My eyes were looked after at Moorfields (one of the world's top eye hospitals) and every year after my annual check-up I was asked (as it's a teaching hospital) if some of the students could look at my eyes. Mo problem, says I, let 'em have a look. It turns out that as I'd been treated in a American style I was a bit of a ringer and after a few students looked at me and got confused the teacher would always say, "He was treated in the XXX way and you should keep an look out for that."

My mom and dad spent their later years in the UK and both had excellent care from the system.
 
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