Back in the saddle again…soon!

Hubby is feeling Much better. He’s still in the hospital. Today the doctors will put a pacemaker under his collarbone, and he’ll be able to leave Wed. or Thurs.

He’s itching to get out. And itching because of the electrodes they have on his chest – turns out he’s allergic to the glue and it itches him terribly, poor chap. The nurses have given him a cream for the irritation, but he’s looking forward to having no more wires attached to his manly chest…


Then he has 3 weeks of rehab in a center about 40 min from us, and then he shuld be fine and good as new if not better.

*Sigh of relief.*

What’s even nicer, is the free socialized medicine here in France. Well, almost free. Sarkozy has instigated what he calls the ‘1 euro for Alzheimers’, that now everyone has to pay whenever they see the doctor. It can’t go above 50 euros per year per person, and the amount goes straight into a funding for Alzheimers research and treatment. (So I’m not complaining, being rather absent-minded myself maybe I will get that disease someday and be glad the government budgeted for it…) But, aside from a 50 euro check, I don’t have to pay a thing for the hospital, doctors, medicine, treatment, rehab, and even the transporation to and from the rehab is free of charge.

For everyone who thinks we pay much higher taxes for this, well, we don’t. There is a slight difference – for a couple (double income earners) who make 80k a year, in France they are taxed 22%, wheras in the US they are taxed 19%. For a couple making over 120k a year, the difference is even less – 25% for France and 24% for the US (2005 statistics). For single earners, the difference is about 4% between the US and France. It’s true we pay Much higher prices for gas, but we also have a public transportation system that lets us go all over France (and most of Europe) via train and bus, even from the most far-flung tiny villages. Living in Europe used to be more expensive than in the US, but right now, it’s about the same. I’m trying to talk my son into coming back here to live (in Europe) to take advantage of the free university and healthcare system. Paying for his college and health insurance is straining our budget, so I hope he reads this and realizes he can come back and study in Paris (or anywhere else in Europe) for a whole lot cheaper.

What I am wondering is why the US refuses socialized medicine? Actually, when I see how much the doctors, lawyers, and pharmaceutical companies rake in, I do understand.