How French Health Care Compares To The US System

Health care is becoming a big issue in the 2020 elections. The Democrats are pushing for a government funded model, while President Trump is campaigning on gutting Obamacare. We repeal the core of the disastrous Obamacare. The individual mandate is now gone. Medicare For All has become a mantra among
left of center Democrats in the presidential race. Health care is a human right not a privilege. I strongly believe that we need to have Medicare for all. I am a strong supporter of Medicare for all. The candidates do have different interpretations of what
Medicare for All actually looks like in America. Those differences aside, it's essentially a universal single payer system closely modeled after Canada's health care system. But there's another national health care system
that gets a lot of attention: France Back in 2000, the World Health Organization ranked it as the best national health care system in the world. A lot has happened since then. But France's health care system remains a model for universal coverage. Here's why. Despite spending less on coverage, France has comparable or even better health care outcomes than the United States. The United States has a higher rate of infant mortality. In France nearly four children die out of every 1000 live births. In the U.S. that number is closer to six. France also has a higher average life expectancy
than the United States by four years. And the rate of re-hospitalization in France is 5.3% lower than that of the United States. Lower rates of re-hospitalization in France are likely due to better access to primary care as well
as longer average stays in the hospital. Since France gives every citizen coverage from birth,
this system allows them to get more preventative treatments throughout their lifetimes, which
save on costs and improve outcomes After World War Two French politicians were concerned the country's private health care system would not be able to handle coverage demands So the country established a model of national health insurance Meant to protect the population against increasing health care costs. The French call their system Social Security but
it is not an example of socialized medicine. It's not government run, just government financed. It's very close to being a single payer health care system. This mandatory coverage doesn't come at the expense
of freedom of choice in medical care. The system is set up to ensure that
doctors are not restricted when making medical decisions. The system covers every doctor every lab every hospital every clinic. They're all covered and they all have to take the patients. That's T.R. Reid author of the book "The Healing of America." He traveled the world exploring different health
care systems and how well they worked. America is the only place where we have what the insurance companies call narrow networks where they dictate which doctors you can go to. No other country does that in every other country. The patient picks the doctor and the system pays. That's also true for our Medicare system Medicare covers all doctors. So here's what happens in the United States. Let's say somebody, a clerk or such at 7-Eleven or
a hotel maid has no insurance or very little insurance and she feels a vague pain on the right side of her abdomen. It would cost your 120 bucks to go to the doctor she's not going to do that. She's going to work through it. And three months later she's in the emergency room with a burst appendix that costs $60,000. And we'll treat here. We'll treat her. But if she could have gone to the doctor when she felt that first pain, the doctor could have treated the infection. It would have cost 100 bucks instead of $30,000. The way we do it by definition makes things much more expensive for the U.S. Covering everybody so that people get the care they need when it's still early and cheap is a much smarter and
a much less expensive way to provide health care. France's social security reimburses around 70 to 80 percent of medical costs leaving the remaining amount for patients to pay out of pocket. France also has voluntary supplemental health
insurance provided by private insurance companies. In France they want you to know that you're getting something of value from the health care system so they make you pay and then everybody in France gets about 80 percent of it back from the insurance company. France's social security also legally requires price transparency. And because the government funded system covers the entire population, it has more bargaining power to keep the prices low. Social Security also has no waiting lists for specialized hospital treatments. There's also no physician gatekeeping. French patients do not need their general practitioner to
sign off so they can see a specialist. So how does France's system stack up against America's? The French health care system is considered one
of the most expensive in the world and yet it's still half the cost of America's. In 2017 U.S. spending added up to $10,200 per capita. In France, it was only $4,900. Administrative costs are also much lower in France than in the United States. In France, they're limited to 5.5 percent of the bill. Whatever the bill is the administrative fee can't be more than 5.5 percent. In America are private insurance companies have administrative
costs of 20 percent on every bill. And that's so important to our insurance industry that their lobbyists wrote that into Obamacare, that they're
allowed to add 20 percent administrative costs. One of the ways the French keep their administrative costs lower is with the carte vitale, a health
insurance card carried by every French citizen. When a person visits a doctor in France, they present their carte vitale so the doctor can look them up in the digital system. The card gives the doctor all the information they need to charge for the visit. French citizens can also opt to have all their medical
records stored on a card for doctors to access and because the system is available all over
the country, it saves time and money. Another way France manages rising health care costs
is by having the government regulate them. Unlike the United States where legislatures are deadlocked
on what to do about health care, the French parliament votes to set new
health care budgets and guidelines every year. But France's health care system is not perfect. French citizens pay significantly more income tax than Americans. In order to cover government funded programs such as Social Security. Many French employers say high taxes do restrict them from hiring more people. But the United States lower tax bite is countered by the fact that Americans end up paying more in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses each time they require medical care. Additionally doctors in France make less money than those in the United States. French general practitioners make on
average nearly $112,000 a year. In America a general practitioner can expect to make around $218,000. This gap in wages however does not factor in the cost of becoming a doctor in each country. American doctors must take on the cost of medical school while French doctors receive that education free. American doctors also must pay for malpractice insurance whereas such lawsuits are not a big issue in France. A common complaint in France is that certain areas do not have as much access to health care as others. However, France has more doctors per resident than the United States does. For every 1000 residents France has 3.4 doctors whereas the United States only has 2.6. Some French hospitals are also struggling with
the rising costs to care for patients. So what can the United States learn from the French system? France's social security proves it's possible to cover every citizen without a government run system regulating
choice and how doctors practice medicine. It also shows that universal health care
coverage can co-exist with private insurance. Basically France has really done it right. As the World Health Organization said very good health outcomes, everybody's covered – all their citizens, all their elite workers, tourists. And half our costs, so I think they're doing a lot of things right.


  1. CNBC skipped the most important part of all European systems which will forever prevent the US from improving healthcare. The PAC, as the US knows it, does not exist in these countries to buy favorable legislation, keeping costs high. These countries recognize free-market limitations caused by border impediment and index prices accordingly to keep them low. The US will never improve its pathetic rank of 37th so long as PACs exist to pay-off capitol hill.

    Want Irony? France covers medical expenses for US citizens 100% when traveling in their country. Learned it first-hand.

  2. Take away all the illegals and their children from our systems and then we can talk. Also, have the French pay for all their military and ability to secure trade around the world, then come back and tell me if they have enough money to spend on their social welfare systems.

  3. 1. Concerned woman's voice — Check
    2. Dramatic Music that tells me how to feel — Check
    3. Text Overlay of exactly what is being said — Check

    Now I have to watch the rest of the video to make sure it contains plenty of false statements and oversimplified claims.

  4. 6:04 Not just French citizens, I got a Carte Vitale after enrolling at the university there on a long-stay visa.

  5. Anyone know why America still has this system, whilst so many developed countries have national health care?

  6. Americans don't complain that our taxes pay for police and fire department protection. So why is it so hard to get U.S. healthcare funded in a similar manner?

  7. Everytime one of our presidential candidates or A.O.C goes on tv and talks about stuff like Medicare for all someone on the right or Fox news goes on tv and cries socialist or communist and then I find stuff like this and I wonder how so many people can get this so wrong?

  8. In Canada minimum health care standards are set by the federal govt. Financing and actual care is provided mainly by the ten individual provinces. I live in the poorest province. Over the last 20 years my family has received first class health care including completely free hospital services and extensive home care by registered nurses that would have cost in excess of $4,500,000.00 in the USA. One drug alone (free) administered every 4 weeks over 8 years would have cost about $1,500,000.00 in the USA. Our total out of pocket expenses have been +- $45,000.00, about 1% of USA costs. Would taxes need increasing to provide this same level of service in the USA? Perhaps. But the abolition of insurance premiums combined with system reforms should more than cover it and the over abundance of medical facilities would easily look after any increase in demand. Wake up NBC. This is the 21st century.

  9. REALLY?! You're telling me, that this $10,000 ankle brace is FREE in France???

    America's healthcare system is a complete joke. Comparing it to anything is like comparing clean clothes to dirty clothes.

  10. The problem is you are comparing to system that are different. Two do that in America would cost much more money. The problem is that in America we have had no boarder control. Think back to a time when unions were strong and most people had insurance. That unchecked immigration cause a imbalance in the number of unskilled worker and jobs. More worker less jobs and these worker can't ask for these extra perks like health care insurance. Also America are being taxed to pay for all these immigrants and for the low wage worker who are being pushed out by the immigrants. France will be see problem with their health care system as more immigration cause it to coast taxes payer more money. You only compare this without looking at real world problem with the system in france. One side story here.

  11. Yeah i am French and i love our healthcare system but it became worst years after years because too many non citizens people use it and only the French people paid for it… you can't have both, open border (the Marakech treaty, the free movement of persons
    , and the posted workers
    ) will broke our beautifull healthcare system thanks to the new "socialist" that we got (Hollande and Macron…)

  12. French health care sucks! Wait 6 month's for a surgery! Oh and pay half your paycheck for it lol.

  13. All following Bernie Sanders lead on this (and the outrageous cost of college education in this country) – from a guy who didn't even get the nomination in '16, thank you Bernie!

  14. If america have so many social problem, why is it still the most powerful, most advanced country in the world?

  15. A few things to debunk this video with comparison to US and France. France is not the best in infant mortality believe it or not its Japan which has less than 1 death for every thousand and higher life expediency. The big reason why all these countries have different stats is largely due to ETHNICITIES. For instance Native Americans, blacks, and Latinos have higher infant mortality and life expediency except latinos in America with 82.8. the highest in America though that beats all of them is Asian americans with a 86.5. the source for this–african-american–latino–asian-american–native-american&selectedRows=%7B%22wrapups%22:%7B%22united-states%22:%7B%7D%7D%7D&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D
    Also it won't tell you is that America has the best survival rate with cancer. There are also many reasons to rehospitalize too such as obesity which is the number one factor of hospitalization in America. Source for cancer:
    France can also afford this by having a higher tax bracket where the poor pay 2 percent higher and the middle class pay at least 8% higher and the wealthiest is at a rate of 45%. source :
    This bias news can never win against conservatives in terms of data so they tend to nitpick on small areas that could seem disappointing, but in reality just proves our point better. Know your facts America and fact check your information that you are being fed.

  16. Still doesn’t change the fact we have more MRI systems in New York City than all of Canada combined.

  17. THE US HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS TERRIBLE!!!!! The insurance companies refuse the doctors requests to help patients. They pay off politicians and patients get a punch in the stomach with high premiums and everything refused to be covered.

  18. Sadly any healthcare system in the US will be thwarted and corrupted by the Republican Party. They are truly evil.

  19. This year I earn 24k and I'm paying almost 5k in taxes and I have no insurance and the risk if I go to a hospital that's screw me up for the rest of my life to pay the hospital

  20. That is nineteen years ago. I know socialized medicine in Canada you can die waiting for? Also France's Health-Care System Is Going Broke and ours will probably follow

  21. So, what is tax rate in France to support that system? I bet it is not 3000 euros a year as that video claims. More like 60% of the income for all taxes France people pay.

  22. And now for the things the video purposely didn't cover about France's health-care system:

    1. The average citizen pays around 40% to 50% of their yearly income in taxes. Unless you are obscenely poor you will be subjected to this amount of tax. Money is taken from your paycheck every month (Brut pay vs Net pay) and you also have to pay a % of that net pay every year during tax seasons (season during which most americans receive money back on their taxes.) To compare, when the French used to be serfs the King was taking between 33% and 36% of the fruit of their work. The French government taxes its citizens more than the previous Kings of France. Let's take for example a woman who makes 50 000 a year. Out of these 50 000, she will receive a Net amount of roughly 30 000. 20 000 will go to the government. Do you think that woman will get here 20 000 back from the government through social services? I highly doubt it. In the end, universal healthcare benefits the government (through the taxes they receive and can choose to misdirect) and the very poor who get their healthcare taken care off by the working class. If you intend to make a good living, the only thing universal healthcare will do is tank your income and affect your standards of living. In the event of you developping a rare and agressive disease (like cancer), this healthcare system will save your life. In the 99% other chances of you not getting really sick, you're just being robbed by the govt.

    2. This system encourages poor people to use and abuse the free healthcare they receive, either through excessive visitations to les Urgences (equivalent of the ER in th US). This results in overcroweded care centers which become unable to do their job properly (aka handle URGENT matters of life and death). They are legally obligated to see and care for every single patient that shows up and don't have the manpower to actually analyze each case and decide who has priority or not. Also take into account that there are past events involving people creating rukus and starting riots because their turn was "skipped" in the ER. I have personal experience with these types of people as a man once tried to fight me and my mother because we where "skypping the line". He had cat scratches on his leg, I was suffering a brain aneurysm.

    3. France does not have enough doctors. Because of what I explained earlier, many people can just go to the doctor and not pay a dime. This should be fine because the govt is supposed to then send the money to the doctor. However, in the past 10 years, it hasn't been that easy for doctors to get their due and they often get shafted on their pay. France is forced to massively import doctors from North Africa to combat this crisis, which will only get worse because of free healthcare.

    4. Free healthcare is the reason why France has trillions of dollars in debt. It is called "le trou de la Secu". Healthcare in France was supposed to pay for itself, but due to abuse and misuse of funds it never did. And since the unenployment rate just keeps growing and growing (14% of people in France do not work) the amount of people who qualify for free healthcare is getting bigger and the amount of taxpayers paying for such healthcare keeps shrinking, forcing the govt. to borrow more and more money. One day the bubble will pop.

    5. The bubble has already popped. Since Govt. is the one giving free healthcare to the citizens (which is technically the tax payers doing) they also decide whether or not you deserve treatment. If you have an agressive illness (such as cancer) they can decide to just stop providing for you and let you die and you have 0 recourse.

  23. another important factor…diet and lifestyle. the french diet is very small amounts of carbs (baguettes and such) everyday which isnt the best but its filling. while obesity is a huge problem in the US (a preventable disease). a lot of cities in france also have a walking lifestyle. I see a lot of elderly, pregnant women, injured, and etc having to use the stairs because they have no alternative option. u see a lot of blind people using the stairs and parents with strollers as well. the US often have ramps, escalators, and elevators to accommodate . I would even say that their version of football (soccer) is healthier than american football (how much does a good lineman need to weigh?).

  24. you expect people of america to live longer while 95% of them are obese ?
    nothing to do with healthcare

  25. There's only 66M people in France so of course it's easier to control the healthcare system and experience, we have 5 times the people in America so the system is way more demanding.

  26. France's higher life expectancy is the result of a lot of things. No guns is a big one. The food's far healthier without all the hormones and chemicals. And many services come to the door — for instance lab technicians — so brick and mortar facilities are a lot smaller and people don't spread disease and illness by sitting in big waiting rooms infecting others.

    When we lived in France we had to buy a top-up policy for each of us and our hefty local taxes helped pay for hospital care and other services. Even so, we didn't pay out of pocket — ever — as reported here. Except a small deductible [12 euros] for doctor visits. Our gap-insurance covered everything else as we're citizens of the EU. If you don't have an EU passport you'd pay for private cover entirely.

    Also — no Carte Vitale, no treatment. If you aren't a resident and set up to pay taxes you don't get a card. So saying any migrant is covered is duplicitous here. We had to prove home ownership and that we paid taxes into the system to get a carte vitale. Our medical cover didn't cost the earth, but France doesn't cover immigrants as they do citizens either. That part of this video is false.

    The biggest difference I see from the USA is that costs of hospitals and doctors are controlled. They don't need to charge what they do in the States. It's a racket and the AMA lobby for that.

  27. As a Canadian living in USA, Canada beats USA in Healthcare. Remember when you get universal healthcare, you do not pay Co-pay, high premiums, high deductibles and yes no more out-of-network policy!!!!

  28. If you care about infant mortality why are you also pushing "aborting" infants which have just been born? Oof. FUN FACT: most doctors actually hate that insurance is a requirement. It's the lawmakers which force people to have insurance which causes the issues– adding insult to injury we also have lawmakers in these insurance companies pockets to INSURE the insurance companies continue operating. Insurance is useless. Have not had it 3 years. The freedom I've felt and being able to go anywhere for my treatment gave me the ability to find a doctor I trust and jive with- it also prevents me having to WAIT FOR MONTHS OR YEARS for care. Unfortunate we're continuing to let our politicians dictate our interests. Insurance is the problem. Get rid of it. People will have more money in their pockets for when a health issue arises. Hospitals are not allowed to turn you away and they'll always work with you on the bills, same with private practice doctors. Don't think because your lawmakers are forcing you to pay for something you don't need 100% of the time that you're gonna be okay. Insurance barely covers anything and you still will end up paying an absurd amount for procedures in hospitals BECAUSE OF INSURANCE COMPANIES. My biggest gripe with hospitals is the organ transplant system: the organs come from donors so why do people have to pay so much? The only thing anyone should be accountable for in those scenarios fiscally is the room they're in before the procedure, during the procedure, and after the procedure, as well as the actual doctors service to perform the procedure. That's it. The wide profit margin on transplants is ridiculous, but what's even more ridiculous is how insurance SHOULD COVER THOSE PROCEDURES but NEVER DO!

  29. France? FRANCE?! Why haven't you brought up the fact that they've been on the verge of bankruptcy for the past 12 years? A lot bc of their socialized programs

  30. I was in France for nearly a month in 2017. After being there for over three weeks, I saw exactly one person with a cold. I did not see one other French person coughing or sniffing the whole trip. Then I flew back to EWR in NJ. Every third American was blowing their nose, coughing, huffing, wheezing, sniffing. Kids' noses dripping. The air quality was atrocious from aerosol spraying combined with old school pollution from polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. Preventive care in the U.S.? Not a chance. We need to stop desperately holding onto lies about life in the US – that goes for our healthcare system. Time to wake up and create a better quality of life for people here.

    Americans need to focus on developing one thing we are missing: respect for ourselves and our health. We are made sick from our work hours. We like to celebrate this macho work ethic, but we often work ourselves into permanent injury and then act like it had nothing to do with work – Hate to break it to everyone, but yes, your one hour commute and sitting at a desk eating crap food for 15 years does in fact make you sick and injured.

    The people I know in France have a significantly better quality of life. Being in France made the problems with the US work schedules and our healthcare "system" pretty obvious. We deserve better. But that means we have to demand our bought politicians actually solve a problem rather than create disguised concessions for their pals at Big Pharm and Insurance companies.

  31. It's a shame. Americans will cut off their nose to spite their face. We just keep voting against our own self interests and believe in that trickle down, free market solves everything BS. Hopefully, we will get our act together, and soon!

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