Oct 27, 2009

Health Care -- Taxes/Premiums

So now that you know how much it cost to see a doctor, what does one pay for coverage?
When I was in France, we paid about 21% in "social charges". That's covers health, sick leave, retirement and other social program like welfare and unemployment. Here in America, only 9% of my salary goes for those same social charges. The interesting thing though is that in both countries about 25% of salary is taxes and social charges... So that means that more of my money in the US goes towards income taxes...
As Megan pointed out, my salary is higher in America, almost twice my French salary. But if I were like my brother, who makes about $8 an hour, my salary would be very similar and I would be paying very little for my health coverage in France.

So to summerize - France is best for low wage workers and America spents lots of money on stuff like Defense...

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Oct 19, 2009

A Heath Care Comparison

It just surprises me the differences in cost between the USA and France for health care. I'm going to pretend that the Euro and dollar are the same since the have the same buying power. Here are some numbers:

Cost to visit the pediatrician:
USA without insurance $135
USA with insurance $90
France w/ or w/o insurance $35

France w/o suplimental insurance $18
France w suplimental insurance $0
USA $15

So it costs my American health insurance company $75 and the French gov't $17 for the same visit, so roughly 5x. Why? What does that pay for? (1) Billing -- apparently 15% of Doctor's bills are billing. (2) mal-practice insurance which cost the American doctor 1000x more. (3) Salary or the American doctors school debt, which is almost 200K at the end of 4 years. For French doctors there is no school debt. (4) nursing staff. I never saw a nurse at a private practice.

So in short in France if you have no insurance, you don't pay very much to see a doctor.  If you are on the state social system, you pay about what an average state worker in the US does for doctors visits at the end of the day without the "mutualle"  Although in France some doctors charge more (like 60 Euros) without explanation and so you might be paying a little more.  But then again, it isn't as much as an uninsured person in the USA, although would be more than an insured person.  Which makes things get complicated.

Next time I will compare the insurance premiums.

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Social Secuity Website Closes

Weird huh?  Apparently you can't find a social security office late at night, please use their webiste at regular daytime/evening hours.  What?! Do they have a guy to does search office search for you?  Maybe their website need to get it's beauty rest too....

Oct 14, 2009

Kaolin -- Partons Vite

Apparently singers can masked their accent.  Well I am not sure about that, but I have been trying to learn a French songs -- it started with Francoise Hardy "Amite", then it was Christophe Wilhelm's "Double Je" (when I totally thought he was a woman", now it is "Partons Vite" by Kaolin.  I really love the melody of this song and thought that it was actually show enough for me to sing.  Well I can sing parts, but certainly not the whole tamale.

But in dissecting the song to learn to sing sans accent, I learn 3 things: A) I can't sing sans accent.  B) The song pretty sad and C) There are lots of words for me to learn.

Find your inner American Idol or Pop Star and get to singing, but be careful not to sounds like this:

Oct 6, 2009

Atlantic City

I went to Atlantic City last weekend. Such a misunderstood city. Sure there is gambling but unlike Vegas, the is a beach next to an ocean. So we took the kiddies onto the beach. L loves to walk in the sand and was very happy. I think he must miss St.Cyr s/ Mer, the beach he went to almost daily for is first 21 months of life. He was also very happy to see the kids play park near the boardwalk, where he was able to climb.

There is a pretty big shopping mall on the pier across from Cezars. On the third floor you can sit in beach chairs and put you feet in sand while staring out at the ocean. While enjoyable too bad mite people aren't enjoying the actual beach.

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Oct 1, 2009

Good bye September

I am sad to see another September end. My last September of my 20s is gone. I will be 30 on Sunday and the end of Summer, is a metaphor for the ending of my 20s... As I head toward the winter of my life, I guess it is time to evaulate the warm fun months of parties and wild times. May I will experience a "heat wave" from now and again, but fall is all about resposibility. Back to school, end of summer holidays, end of long warm evenings, the end of outdoor movies and lazy days in the sun. What can I do now, but start decorating for Halloween?

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