With all the continuing back and forth over Obamacare one could be forgiven for forgetting that what it offers is still miles away from what a better health care system should look like.
Interestingly the latest reality check comes courtesy of Reuters and an opinion piece by Anya Schriffin, who details the care received by her father as he dealt with stage 4 pancreatic cancer starting at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York (not exactly the worst example in the US) and continuing over to his treatment in Paris (he having been born in France).
It is a not too long article that is well worth reading in it's entirety.
Schriffin starts out as a skeptic who wants the best for her father and is sure that it is in the US at a name hospital. Ultimately her father prevails and he begins his treatment in Paris. By the end she sounds like a convert.
A few choice comments to convince you to read the whole thing,
“Can’t you think of anything bad about the French healthcare system?” I asked during one of our daily phone calls. My mom told me about a recent uproar in the hospital: It seems a brusque nurse rushed into the room and forgot to say good morning. “Did you see that?” another nurse said to my mom. “She forgot to say bonjour!”
When my dad began to get worse, the home visits started. Nurses came three times a day to give him insulin and check his blood. The doctor made house calls several times a week until my father died on December 1.And remember the French spend 11.6% of GDP on health care versus 17.9% in the US.
The final days were harrowing. The grief was overwhelming. Not speaking French did make everything more difficult. But one good thing was that French healthcare was not just first rate — it was humane. We didn’t have to worry about navigating a complicated maze of insurance and co-payments and doing battle with billing departments.
We need a tidal wave of these first hand accounts to change the narrative, to change the understanding of what is possible. The average American remains to this day woefully ignorant, despite the constant discussion over Obamacare, of what the true options for reform really are.