The "ridiculous" austerity measures is what has been keeping Greece and Spain on life-support. Their system of entitlements are perks to everyone no matter what the cost is the main reason for their mess and they are now all depending on Germany to bail them out.
Sorry but to constantly be taxing and spending with no end in sight, you are bound to pump the well dry and that is what is happening. There will not always be someone or a nation willing to bail you out every time.
Also if you follow those silly rankings the WHO puts out ranking the nation's healthcare system (and I guess that is where you get the "excellent" part about France) then IDK what to tell you. All I do know is when a list says Cuba has better healthcare than the US, then I would highly doubt the legitimacy.
The austerity measures are not what's keeping them on life support, it's WHY they're on life support. Read what a real economist has to say on the matter: http://www.nytimes.c...ic-suicide.html
Ok, well, you may not care that a well respected group like the WHO says about healthcare, then I don't know what to tell you. I mean, I'm sorry, but it's fact that Cuba outperforms the US. Do you not believe the statistics on things like infant mortality rates that the WHO puts out? And you can bet a million dollars that if people could, they would buy prescription pills from Cuba just like they do from Mexico and Canada.
The issue in the US has never been that it's lacking in skilled doctors or that it can't perform cutting edge procedures, it's that the cost of that care is prohibitively expensive and when people don't have the insurance, they are forced to use the most expensive avenue of care, ERs. The argument for universal healthcare is nearly IDENTICAL to the right's argument for lowering taxes. Flatten the rates and broaden the base. That is EXACTLY what this bill does, except for healthcare coverage, not taxes. More people paying, a more even rate over the whole of the country.
While it is not the best bill, it's a step in the right direction. What really needs to be controlled is the cost of prescriptions, i.e. pills that are $5 here and $1 in the rest of the world, and providing a reasonable fee schedule for procedures performed.