I hear you, Tom Gregg, and you make some excellent points, as always. In Europe, we pay into the system but costs are never as high as in the US.
For example, the total cost of my stepmom’s treatment for Stage IV cancer has been zero euros so far, and even her wig was paid for. As you can imagine, both chemo and all the drugs she is on are extremely expensive.
Then again, she has been working since she was a teenager (she’s 69 now) and also has top up private health insurance, for which she pays less per month than I do in the US for something I can’t afford to use as the co-pays are too high.
One thing about France however is that our health care system has had a deficit as long as I’ve been alive and I believe it even predates my birth.
It’s affectionately known as the “trou de la Sécu”, literally the social security hole. Mention this to any French person and they’ll smile and shrug. Macron is trying to fix it, being the ambitious type that he is.
As for the NHS, I’ve only ever had excellent care during the many years I lived in the UK but it’s very much a postcode lottery, alas. The NHS also provided excellent care to my late friend Anthony who had multiple myeloma but he lived in London during much of his illness, which made all the difference.
Now, it is my (limited, I admit) understanding US military personnel have a completely different health care system, which is quite similar to socialized medicine, at least from what a physician acquaintance and my US family — one of whom was a medical professional who spent her career working in military hospitals — explained to me.
Do you see a way this format could be applied to civilians as well? In short, how could “Medicare For All” work, based on your experience of it rather than what presidential candidates say?