You must be barking if you actually think that healthcare in France is free - they pay like 65% top tax bracket - just because the government offers it free does not mean you aren't paying for it some form or fashion.
In france 11% of the gnp is spent on healthcare and they are considering trying HMOs in an effort to control sprialing costs. In France everybody pays far more taxes than here. Here we spend 16% and 43 million people pay nothing for healthcare, they just charge it at the emergency room and let the private payers pick up the tab. I think that that is the big surprise in the healthcare reform ointment, the folks who think it will be "free" will be paying like never before and, just like social security, what they get for their money will be a major disappointment. The same beauracrats who have stolen 16% of every paycheck you ever got, and then wasted the money on exorbitant pay and benefits for themselves,(yeah you know the guys) now they want to steal another 10-20% of your pay and provide you with "free" healthcare. Oh boy, I can hardly wait.$ Steve