The New York Times Magazine has an essay of mine this morning  in the “Lives” section.  It’s about my husband’s and my experience with the French health system, with a side look at a French  student of French eating disorders.



  • Has this got anything to do with the ‘dreadful NHS’ in the UK debate? It’s not always marvellous, but we pay nothing (outside taxes) and they are usually sweet and friendly. Sometimes incompetent, but no worse than anywhere else.
    Though I must say the hospitals and doctors’ surgeries in Sweden are better decorated. But for all the ugly waiting rooms here, the service has mostly been first class. I don’t mind being cured without good art on the walls.

  • genny winne

    Sara,thanks so much for sharing your experience.

    One of the things that annoys me most about the health care debate is that it’s the people that already have health care that are most opposed to granting the same benefit to others.

    By most accounts, the US has the most expensive health care program in the world. According to the CIA’s own website, the US citizens have an average life expectancy of 78.11 years. We are 50th in the world!–That is shameful. The same site shows the infant mortality rate by country. Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than the US. US- 6.26/1000 Cuba-5.82/1000. We aren’t that much better than Croatia which has a rate of 6.37/1000

    One common theme in reviewing the list of countries–those that offer universal health care to their citizens out perform the US in both life expectancy and infant mortality rates.

    The fear mongering that has gone on recently is another shameful act. Special interest and greed take over.

    I also think that Sara Palin should take her own advise–stop making things up!

    I am happy to hear that your husband’s condition was resolved.

    On a personal note, my husband and I were visiting Paris a few years ago. It was April, chilly and rainy. He woke up on day feeling awful–congestion, aches, etc. There was a drug store one block from our hotel. It certainly wasn’t a typical US drug store, selling everything from clothes, makeup, toys, etc. I explained my husband’s symptoms (luckily they spoke & understood English) and got an over-the-counter medication. Incredibly the very next day he felt fine. If we had been at home, I know that he’d of spent several days in bed recuperating.

  • Yes, indeed–it’s Congress, which gets gold=plated health coverage at public expense, even after members leave, which has been obstructing access of the population at large to the same health care they get.

  • Idzan Ismail

    I still think the US has the best health-care in the world.
    Most of my country’s wealthy seek treatment in the States including for cancer and heart surgery.


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