I have high hopes for the new Congress in January. In the mean time, we have to deal with the lame duck Congress and the Dems trying to end their reign by passing bills put forward by an agenda that got many of them booted out last election (except in Massachusetts and California). This is where I thank the rest of the country for their efforts. Anyway, many new people on the hill were elected to come in and extending the tax cuts to all and to completely blowup the Obamacare bill and start over. Some of the elected will not be happy until we look like France or Canada by following their health care plan regulated and controlled, in the end, by the government.
THE COST of seeing a GP in France could vary from €10 to €70 under new plans being considered by the French government.
President Sarkozy has told doctors he will look at making changes to the current fees system, where patients pay a fixed rate of €22 for a basic consultation, rising to €23 in the new year.
Former health minister Elisabeth Hubert has drawn up a report suggesting ways to tackle the problem of "medical deserts", where rural areas suffer a shortage of GPs as young graduates prefer to work elsewhere.
One of her suggestions is to move away from the flat-rate consultation to a tiered system, where fees would range from €10 to €70 depending on "the difficulty of reaching a diagnosis".
Doctors who agree to set up a practice in a rural area that is poorly served could also receive extra compensation.
Sarkozy told GPs at conference in Normandy yesterday that he was in favour of trying out the idea.
He said the government needed to "act fast" and the first decisions would be made this month, with changes planned in 2011.
Doctors' union MG France said the idea was "interesting" but needed further work.
Union president Pascal Dureau said the fees charged by GPs needed to be re-evaluated, because doctors were taking on an increasing range of responsibilities and often doing the same job as a specialist.