/ health care

How the French do cancer treatment

My parents were pleasantly surprised by his new routine. In New York, my father, my mother and I would go to Sloan Kettering every Tuesday around 9:30 a.m. and wind up spending the entire day. They’d take my dad’s blood and we’d wait for the results. The doctor always ran late. We never knew how long it would take before my dad’s name would be called, so we’d sit in the waiting room and, well, wait. Around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. my dad would usually tell me and my mom to go get lunch. (He never seemed to be hungry.) But we were always afraid of having his name called while we were out. So we’d rush across the street, get takeout and come back to the waiting room.

So imagine my surprise when my parents reported from Paris that their chemo visits couldn’t be more different. A nurse would come to the house two days before my dad’s treatment day to take his blood. When my dad appeared at the hospital, they were ready for him. The room was a little worn and there was often someone else in the next bed but, most important, there was no waiting. Total time at the Paris hospital each week: 90 minutes.

‐ Anya Schiffrin on Reuters

Does anyone think our way is better? I would hope not. Cancer is awful in every way. Why is our method of treating have to be awful as well? Surely we can do better.

You would think that, given how much how well the patient is treated, the French treatment would cost considerably more but, judging from the county's healthcare spending, they do not. We spend far more on healthcare than any other country and we don't have the results to show for it.

“We spend one and half times more per person on health care than any other country, but we aren’t healthier for it.”
— President Obama

The situation is rediculous. There has been a huge amount of backlash against the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare if you prefer). Most of the backlash seems to be that it goes too far. In all reality, it doesn't go far enough. At the very least, we should have gotten the public option. Ideally we would have gotten single payer.