Friday's HOT MIC

Friday's HOT MIC

Roger and Steve K: I've had mixed experiences with Euro-style health care. In Germany, where I raised my children, it's excellent and the system (up to the arrival of the "refugees," anyway) worked quite well. Ireland is a somewhat, er, different story -- although in fairness, my encounter with rural Irish docs has been very limited.

So I suspect (shhhhhh while I lower my voice) that the success of "single-payer" medicine has a lot to do with the capabilities and talents of the people in whose country you're encountering it. England's basically a Third World country now, so that's the level of service and skill you're likely to get.

Meanwhile, back in the good ol' USofA, you know which government programs actually work, and work well, at least from the point of view of the customer? Social Security and Medicare. I had to get old enough to find this out first-hand, but so far, so good. You can get them on the phone, you get Real Americans at the other end of the line, they get you sorted right away, and they pay on time. If the entire federal government ran like this, what a country this would be.

Of course, I've been paying into the system since I was a teenager, so it's not like I don't expect some level of efficiency and accountability. And, yes, I know there's no "lockbox," that my "contributions" went to my parents's generation, that the system is going broke, and there will have to be either tax hikes or age hikes or both in order for it to continue. Even so, it's nice to see something that actually works for the customer. And P.S. -- I've got mine, Jack.

Meanwhile, kids, keep paying those FICA taxes so Roger and I can enjoy a comfortable dotage.