I Choose France
I have given birth in two different countries—France and the good old U.S. of A.—and let me tell you, my homeland let me down, big time.
My daughter was born in France. I had a cesarean and they kept me in the hospital for 15 days because they wanted to make sure I was taken care of. I had my baby with me all the time. I had a midwife, a personal nurse and fabulous food (it was France, after all). It was like taking a two-week vacation at an upscale spa! When it was all over, I paid nothing and my insurance paid $800. That included everything: my room and board, my anesthesiologist, childcare, all the medications, everything.
Then I had my son. In America. Mistake. The docs kicked me out after a day and a half, bleary on painkillers, still in agony, with no babysitter for my older daughter. In France, they would have had a crèche for her, but never mind. What disgusted me most was the final bill: $11,000. Let me say that again: Eleven. Thousand. Dollars. Not francs! In the end, I paid $1,000 and my insurance paid $10,000. All for a crummy, uncomfortable, 36-hour stay in the hospital. With crappy food to boot!
Certain people in our government (most of them men) claim that socialized medicine is a terrible idea. Um, for whom? The hospitals that inflate their bills? The doctors who charge $500 an hour? The insurance companies who set high deductibles and refute every single claim submitted? Yup, for them it's a terrible idea. But for the rest of us—particularly all you pregnant women out there about to give birth—socialized medicine is a dream, albeit an unattainable one as yet. So the next time your labor kicks in, skip going to your local hospital and try hopping on a transatlantic flight instead.