AFP – French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday welcomed the US health care reform signed into law last week, but said the debate was “hard to believe” in Europe.
“Welcome to the club of countries that does not dump its sick people,” Sarkozy said at a forum at Columbia University in New York, reacting to the legislation which brings America close to universal health coverage for the first time.
“But if you want me to be sincere, seen from Europe, when we see the US debate on health care reform, we find it hard to believe.”
Sarkozy, who is on a visit to the United States that includes a White House dinner with President Barack Obama, said the US leader “should be congratulated” for successfully leading the effort to overhaul the health care system.
Still, he said that for countries such as France, “it has been 50 years since we have resolved the problem.”
“If you come to France and you fall sick on the sidewalk, we won’t ask for your credit card before admitting you to a hospital,” the French leader said.