The health care systems of both France and the U.S. are faced with their own serious crises. Both countries possess large and growing elderly populations that threaten to raise the cost of health care even higher than their already faster-than-inflation rates. Observers in both countries are afraid that increasingly expensive medical treatments and technologies will wreak havoc on public spending priorities. In the U.S, unchecked health care inflation will imperil Medicare and Medicaid, spur ever-larger federal budget deficits, and push up the embarrassingly large number of Americans without any medical insurance at all. In France, already insufficient resources have influenced strikes and demonstrations by doctors, while health care price hikes put at risk the country's commitment to its European partners to maintain low budget deficits. In this paper, I will be discussing the good, the bad, the differences and the similarities between the U.S. and Frances’ healthcare systems. The health care market suffers from several imperfections, which have motivated the government’s intervention in both the United States and France. Many of the very young, chronically ill, and older aged could not obtain medical care if it were not for government sponsored assistance or insurance. In order to remedy market imperfections and improve access to quality medical care, governments have generally taken one of two approaches: a national health service or the promotion of health insurance. Great Britain possesses the national health service (NHS); everyone has access to medical care from providers whose remuneration flows largely from the government budget. Health insurance also socializes the demand for health care by grouping consumers in order to spread risk and cost. Although the U.S. system relies much more heavily on private insurers, health insurance in both France and America is closely tied to one’s employer. This similarity is joined by other fundamental principles, especially in regard to the freedom of medical practice and patient choice.
The U.S. and French both get their insurance through employers. The U.S. government, unlike some other countries, does not treat employer funded health care benefits as a taxable benefit in kind to the employee. In France, every citizen is covered with some form of healthcare. The French has done a better job in the protection of healthcare values. Under the French healthcare system, they allow the patients more of a choice when choosing a provider and it gives the doctors more freedom to make medical decisions. The patients in U.S. are more restricted to the choices they have in choosing a doctor, under the insurance company guidelines and policies. The American system also put restrictions on the doctors’ ability to treat patients (Barton, 2007). These restrictions make it difficult for the American public to receive top quality healthcare. Many of us would like to have the liberty to pick and choose the doctor that we are comfortable with, however certain insurance regulations and policy say otherwise. It has been said that the French live longer and healthier lives than the American people. The French believe that healthy living starts at birth and they so they allow for working mothers, who has just given birth, to be paid while off work. They have access to neighborhood health clinics for the new mothers and their babies. They also receive home visits from nurses. The United States only allow mothers to be paid if it was part of an option they chose in their health insurance policy. We also do not have the luxury of having home visits from any medical provider. How do the French stay above other countries in healthcare? They are required to pay 21 percent of their income into the healthcare system, and the employers pay over half of that, which make its hard for an employer to hire more workers.(Shapiro,2011)To further understand the differences and similarities, we will take a look...
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