I recently went to the doctor for a regular visit. The visit cost me about $30 and it cost my insurance $190. Was the doctor's 20 minutes really worth $220? That's like $660/hour. This same examine in France costs about 45 Euros. The gov't reimbursement is about 17 Euros, making it about 28 Euros out of pocket. With an even exchange rate, the costs are about the same for me, but for my 'insurance' the costs are about 11 times more. Was the doctor 11 times more helpful? 11 times more knowledge about, did she use 11 times better equipment or was 11 times more gentle? No. She wasn't any of those things. But she did have 11 times the staff that the French doctor had and probably pays 1000 times the mal-practice insurance. Only some French doctors even have staff. Most just have waiting rooms and come get the next patient when they are done with the last one... No multiple examination rooms. Sort of like a psychiatrist office... Not that I know anything about that. You pay the doctor directly. No need for billing people. The way that it usually works is that the govt reimburses the patient directly through direct deposit and you don't have to file paperwork since the everything is electronic via your "health card". Although I guess if we did that in this country we would lose more precious American jobs... Viva privatization of insurance.