Anya Schiffrin has a fantastic article giving a great first hand account of how a functioning health care system works. She describes how her father got cancer treatment in France. I highly recommend reading the entire article at Reuters:
There were other nice surprises. When my dad needed to see specialists, for example, instead of trekking around the city for appointments, he would stay in one room at Cochin Hospital, a public hospital in the 14th arrondissement where he received his weekly chemo. The specialists would all come to him. The team approach meant the nutritionist, oncologist, general practitioner and pharmacist spoke to each other and coordinated his care. As my dad said, “It turns out there are solutions for the all the things we put up with in New York and accept as normal.”
Their system is not just dramatically cheaper for both the government and regular people, it is filled with less hassle and produces so much less stress for patients.
This is what I wanted health care reform to do in the United States, or at least move us in this direction. I want a health care system not an overlapping web of corporate scams machines often backed by the government.
Instead we got a disgusting expensive plan that only helps more people buy dramatically overprice private insurance with huge deductibles and very limited networks.
Photo by Mayr, used under Creative Commons license