Leonhardt_ALessonFromEuropeOnHealthCare_NYT - New York...

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New York Times October 18, 2006 Economix A Lesson From Europe on Health Care By DAVID LEONHARDT Correction Appended Shortly before he moved to Greece last year, an American named John Econopouly received the unpleasant news that he needed a hernia operation. He had the surgery done in Northern California, and it didn’t go so well. After spending less than a day in the hospital as an outpatient, Mr. Econopouly went to a friend’s house to sleep off the surgery and found that his wound had reopened. “I woke up in a pool of blood and didn’t know what to do,” he remembered. “Basically, I didn’t feel cared for.” For this, he paid more than $2,000 over and above the thousands of dollars that his insurance policy paid. A few months later, once he had moved to Greece, he found out that he needed a separate operation for another hernia, giving him a chance, unwanted as it may have been, to do his own little comparative study of American and European medicine. The Greek hospital was much dirtier than the one in California, he said, and he was put in a room with a handful of other patients. The stench was brutal. When Mr. Econopouly, a 41-year-old computer programmer for Wall Street, asked for more privacy and said he would be happy to pay extra, the staff laughed at him. But the care itself was another story. It seemed much more thorough than it had been in the United States. He spent the day before the operation undergoing tests, including one that discovered a heart murmur, and the day after the operation in the hospital being observed. Although he didn’t have Greek health insurance, his final bill was only $700. A few weeks ago, I wrote a column arguing that this country’s increased medical spending over the last half-century has, on the whole, been overwhelmingly worth it. Thanks to new treatments for everything from premature births to heart attacks, human
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course 360 290 taught by Professor Dankelemen during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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Leonhardt_ALessonFromEuropeOnHealthCare_NYT - New York...

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