Unionised medical workers hold banners reading, 'No financial cuts' and 'Public health care system' as they shout slogans during a demonstration against budget cuts and plans to part-privatise bits of their 'cherished' national health service in Madrid, Spain, 9 December 2012.
From The Weekly Standard:
'It’s embarrassing to me to go to places like France and Spain ... and their workers all manage to have health insurance that can’t be taken away.'
- Senator Mary Landrieu
Mary 'South Dakota is a border state' Landrieu is an idiot and, evidently, she hasn’t been to Spain lately...
Like ‘JustTheFacts,’ Senator Landrieu seems to believe that health insurance = healthcare. It doesn’t. It never has. It never will.
Ask the Spanish. They might have health insurance, but, with the cuts made because they lived on borrowed money for years and outspent their earnings, that insurance only covers that which the State allows...and such has been diminishing.
It’s like having a gift certificate at an old Soviet Universam store. One could only use it to acquire the meager items available…when, and if, the shelves weren’t bare.
Fatima Branas, a spokeswoman for organizers, said privatization plans were short-sighted because they did not take into account that savings could be made without selling off services.
"What their plans really mean is a total change of our health care model and a dismantling of the system used," she said.
Madrid's government, under regional president Ignacio Gonzalez, maintains cuts are needed to secure health services during a deep recession.
Health care and education are administered by Spain's 17 semi-autonomous regions, rather than the central government, and each sets its own budgets and spending plans. Regions account for almost 40 percent of public spending. The Madrid region is governed by the Popular Party, the center-right alignment also in power centrally under Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
Many regions are struggling as Spain's economy contracts into a double-dip recession triggered by a real estate crash in 2008.
Some, having overspent and being unable to borrow on financial markets to repay their huge debts, are cutting budgets.
Co-pays had already been introduced and the protests did not stop regions from beginning to privatise part of their healthcare systems.
Furthermore, she obviously doesn't know the state of the French system either...
When Laure Cuccarolo went into early labor on a recent Sunday night in a village in southern France, her only choice was to ask the local fire brigade to whisk her to a hospital 30 miles away. A closer one had been shuttered by cost cuts in France’s universal health system.
Ms. Cuccarolo’s little girl was born in a firetruck.
France claims it long ago achieved much of what today’s U.S. health-care overhaul is seeking: It covers everyone, and provides what supporters say is high-quality care. But soaring costs are pushing the system into crisis. The result: As Congress fights over whether America should be more like France, the French government is trying to borrow U.S. tactics.
In recent months, France imposed American-style “co-pays” on patients to try to throttle back prescription-drug costs and forced state hospitals to crack down on expenses.…
And service cuts — such as the closure of a maternity ward near Ms. Cuccarolo’s home — are prompting complaints from patients, doctors and nurses that care is being rationed. That concern echos worries among some Americans that the U.S. changes could lead to rationing.
The French system’s fragile solvency shows how tough it is to provide universal coverage while controlling costs, the professed twin goals of President Barack Obama’s [overhaul].
French taxpayers fund a state health insurer, Assurance Maladie, proportionally to their income, and patients get treatment even if they can’t pay for it. France spends 11% of national output on health services, compared with 17% in the U.S., and routinely outranks the U.S. in infant mortality and some other health measures.
The problem is that Assurance Maladie has been in the red since 1989. This year the annual shortfall is expected to reach €9.4 billion ($13.5 billion), and €15 billion in 2010, or roughly 10% of its budget.
Landrieu has voted for Obamacare, stimulus, and gun control, among other items on the Obama agenda. She seems remarkably out of step with her constituents.
Maybe, she should be embarrassed to go to Spain because it has a 25% unemployment rate (youth unemployment is at 57%). In France, unemployment is 11% and predicted to continue to rise (youth unemployment in 37%). Louisiana’s unemployment rate was 6.8% in May.