So it occurred to me yesterday while talking to a European colleague about the “free” health care among most of the EU nations that maybe they’ve really hit on something there. We, here in America, have been dealing with massive health care costs for decades fueled by an inefficient health insurance system, medical malpractice coverage, not to mention Medicare and Medicaid mismanagement. The Europeans, on the other hand, have publically funded hospitals with managed costs and provide medical care thats free of upfront costs. Even tourists visiting Europe have access to this health care system and will not be expected to pay for their care. It dawned on me…its time for the Europeans to take some responsibility for their colonial cousins. For years, the United States has funded the bulk of NATO operations, ensuring the security of the European allies. Our soldiers died on the beaches of Normandy fighting an oppressive nazi juggernaut and defending what would become modern Europe against impossible odds. Its time that the Europeans paid up. Here’s my plan…instead of paying health insurance premiums…we keep enough money in escrow to purchase one round trip ticket to Europe in the event of illness. If you wanted…it could even be first class. Lets say you needed a shoulder reconstruction after too much bocce ball one summer. Well, you would tap into your flight savings account and book your flight to Europe where you would meet your doctor and have the procedure done there. Perfect…we have turned the $50,000 surgery into a $800 plane ticket. Some of you may be saying…why not just go to Canada? Well the first reason is that their socialized medicine is on the rocks right now…seems their best doctors would rather work in the US, go figure. Plus, wouldn’t you rather recuperate on the French Riviera than in Québec city…I know I would. Truth be told, this is already happening…just not in Europe. People have been leaving the US to get surgeries in South America, India, and other places. Its called MedTourism and its crazy…but cheap. Of course, I don’t see why we couldn’t team up with NATO to have unified health coverage the same way we have unified military defense…it just makes sense. I’m off to go book my trip to Italy for that quadruple bypass I’ve been looking at. Its preemptive so I don’t need to worry about cholesterol as I get older…that should work, right? Patrick OUT!!!
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