Jump to content
Complete France Forum

Health issue to be discussed on French TV tonight


Sunday Driver

Recommended Posts

Thanks for the info but I did not manage to see it and imagine lots mised it.  Could someone put a brief summary of what it covered please and whether there was any clarification about how it applied to Brits and other Eu nationals in France.  Many thanks in advance.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Sunday Driver"]

I understand that tonight's 'Mots Croisés' programme will feature a political discussion about the new healthcare rules.

France 2 at 23.10 tonight.

 

[/quote]

I watched the first half of this programme, but it was mainly about the changes to the 35  hour week.  Indeed, the government minister was the Minister for Travail.  I did however tape it and will rewatch it to see if anything was mentioned about our concerns, but I wouldn't hold out much hope!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Maricopa"][quote user="Sunday Driver"]

I understand that tonight's 'Mots Croisés' programme will feature a political discussion about the new healthcare rules.

France 2 at 23.10 tonight.

 

[/quote]

I watched the first half of this programme, but it was mainly about the changes to the 35  hour week.  Indeed, the government minister was the Minister for Travail.  I did however tape it and will rewatch it to see if anything was mentioned about our concerns, but I wouldn't hold out much hope!

[/quote]

Further to my earlier post, I can now confirm that there was no discussion of the imminent removal of thousands of Brits from the French health system.  It was all about the huge public deficit ( [:D]so related IMHO!), heures supplementaire, reduction on the number of fonctionnaires, availability of housing for those on low incomes etc but nothing about health per se.

Once more unto the breach...........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In "big picture" terms relevant but not specifically to our current problems. 

However, it did get me wondering about the French media.  There are big misconceptions out there about what it is we're whinging about (some pretty triumphant postings on one French forum about our plight in the sort of "serves 'em right" mode.)  I don't think many French nationals quite appreciate that it's about people who contribute to the economy in terms of taxes, and the money they spend here which is pumped into the economy - or the humanitarian aspect of those with chronic and ongoing conditions who are facing a frightening future.  Those with huge incomes will be able to afford private healthcare - the wealthier ones will even find it cheaper (and you can bet they'll use mostly British companies for their insurance) than 8% of their global incomes.

Another line of attack (gonna test my written French though....)[Www]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the other hand (ducks and reaches for tin-hat) in the big picture our little story is not of much interest to your everyday french person.

I can see why the changes that are ongoing in the effort to cut France's huge deficit and expenditure are making headlines. I have a Google email alert set up on google.fr for any news about changes the CMU, and there is a lot every day, but almost nothing about the Brit aspect.

Try it yourself, http://news.google.fr/nwshp?oe=UTF-8&hl=fr&tab=wn&q=cmu&ie=UTF-8&scoring=n

Of greater concern for the french are the new "franchises", closely followed by the worry that they may all have to pay towards private healthcare themselves in the future (so where will that leave us, after 5 year's residence, when we will (apparently) be treated just like the French)?

When seen alongside all of the other changes that Sarkozy is instigating, it is not surprising that the Brit story is of little interest to the French man on the street.  Don't get me wrong, I'm one of those "inactif" types myself, and am following developments as closely as the next  (wo)man.  I have a great deal of sympathy for those with existing conditions who will find it extremely difficult to access private health insurance, and can see many things wrong with the way that these new changes are being made public and implemented. 

But, IMHO,  if there is interest to be raised, it is with the British press and government, not the French people, press or government.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cat, I think you are spot on.  Whilst almost without exception, every French person I have met has been nothing but absolutely welcoming, the fact that we are now experiencing "difficulties" with the new administration would be of little more than passing interest.  Indeed a shrug and "c'est normal" would sum up the situation for many at the very least, though I think the extreme views expressed on some French web forums are thankfully not the norm.

This is definitely a battle to be fought at UK government and European parliament level. 

And yes, my wife and are holders of E106s that expire in January, though we are (hopefully) fortunate enough to be in the postion of starting up a business in January, albeit a year earlier than intended.

Bon courage......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Cat"]

But, IMHO,  if there is interest to be raised, it is with the British press and government, not the French people, press or government.

[/quote]

Luckily (?) we're all right Jack, Di is an E121 geriatric and I run a small business and pay a large % into the system but have tried to follow these various threads anyway.

As I understand it GB plc does not pay into the French system between expiry of E106 and granting of E121 so the pressure should be on them not the French govt.

As an aside many people on this and similar forums/fora seemed delighted when Sarko won the election, apparently believing that he would drag France, kicking and screaming, into the 20th century. I wonder how they feel now ?

John

not

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that the Brit story does not appear on the surface, to have anything whatsoever to do with the problems many French people are facing.  However, fundamentally it does.

There are an estimated 200,000 French people living and working in London, for example.  By definition, they pay their taxes in the UK on the principal of "you pay where you work."  Ergo, they are not paying cotisations in their own country and, if they stay for a period of time but do not anticipate retiring in the UK, then when and if they return "home" - what will happen? Without portable universal state healthcare throughout Europe, they face a retirement without access to healthcare in their own countries, unless they pay.  OK, we are a small insignificant group but our problems are all interlinked so long as we are part of the modern Europe. 

Also, newly-admitted EU member states were obliged to demonstrate that they could provide universal state healthcare for their own citizens and anybody who might wish to be domiciled in their country, if they were to be allowed to join.  No such rule for the existing member states though - is this right?  If they were obliged, under EU law, to make such provision, then both their own citizens, and those from other member states living and working in their countries would all have the same rights as newly-admitted states. 

These are the kinds of issues which need to be got "out there" all over the continent, not just in the UK. It isn't just about a few endangered ex-pats.  It's about the way in which Europe functions, and the way it treats all its citizens.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Iceni"]

As an aside many people on this and similar forums/fora seemed delighted when Sarko won the election, apparently believing that he would drag France, kicking and screaming, into the 20th century. I wonder how they feel now ?

John

not

[/quote][:D]It was one of my major frustrations that I hadn't been here 5 years so I couldn't apply for French nationality and vote against him.  But then, I guess there are a lot of people who think politics is of no interest to them (until it bites them in the b*m that is.)[Www]
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="cooperlola"]

It isn't just about a few endangered ex-pats.

It's about the way in which Europe functions, and the way it treats all its citizens.

[/quote]

Absolutely right.

I wouldn't wish in any way to 'frivolise' this whole issue, because it affects so many over here (and those committed to coming over here) so strongly, but it all smacks to me of someone in the French Ministry 'lighting the blue touch paper and retiring immediately' .............. and then seeing what falls out of it all.

The French Govt appears to have been quite callous and uncaring in the line it has taken thusfar.

The UK Govt's approach hitherto appears to be out of line with that of other states.

There'll be some regularisation - there has to be, but it'll take time and sadly some may get hurt.

On a more parochial level, my French neighbour, who I've discussed this whole issue with (if only to try to put in perspective the reports he hears and reads) has just been told that his 100%  that's existed for umpteen yrs has been withdrawn. He has to re-apply.  Sign of the times over here - and not just for us?    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Gardian"][quote user="cooperlola"]

It isn't just about a few endangered ex-pats.

It's about the way in which Europe functions, and the way it treats all its citizens.

[/quote]

Absolutely right.

I wouldn't wish in any way to 'frivolise' this whole issue, because it affects so many over here (and those committed to coming over here) so strongly, but it all smacks to me of someone in the French Ministry 'lighting the blue touch paper and retiring immediately' .............. and then seeing what falls out of it all.

The French Govt appears to have been quite callous and uncaring in the line it has taken thusfar.

    

[/quote]

From  the way the British newspapers have reported the whole affair it appears to have been a planned attack on inactif EU citizens (read British)  belonging to the CMU but I wonder if it started out that way. During my researches on the internet over the last month I have found out:

When  M Sarkosky  said "If you think 53 makes you old enough to retire, then fine, go ahead and retire, but don't expect the state to pay for it." he was speaking  at a campaign meeting in Metz, he had just reached 53 himself and pointed to himself. He was refering to the public service pensions that hitherto have allowed all sorts of workers in the public sector (which employs one in four French people) to retire from 50 onwards. These pension entitlements are a great drain on the public purse. It was nothing to do with the health care of any nationality

The French actually dragged their heels about implementing the EU directive that has caused all the problems for us and were eventually told by the EU to get it into law. The relevent clauses are  copied more or less word for word from the original EU document. A rubber stamp job? At the time all the publicity and discussion was about  the law granting immigration  rights  for people from  the new EU countries  and  from third country countries.  

The most recent decret regulating the CMU doesn't make a positive exclusion of EU inactifs but re-iterates that they have to be legally resident at the time of their affiliation.

I think that it was only after the passing of the law that the implications of it for the CMU were realised. The new law faithfully implementing the  EU directive meant that in order to be legally resident  inactifs would have to provide their own health care. To a cash strapped government body who had been ordered to make cuts this must have seemed  like manna from heaven. That they didn't think everything out fully is being demonstrated by  the  present confusion .

As others have said I have received nothing but support on a personal level from French people  who have heard about our potential problems. And theres been no publicity we've had to tell them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that's bang on Helen.  It affects us badly, yes, but we're only a tiny part of what is a huge problem here (and potentially in other EU countries). 

If my o/h had been French, as he worked for the railway, he would have retired on a full pension at 55.  I'd have been entitled to retire in a couple of years, for the same reason.  Now, I admit that that's bonkers - the provision for early retirement dates back to the days when it was a pysically demanding job, and the protections and regulations governing railway workers' employment rights were necessary and had to be fought hard for.  I can see M. Sarkozy's point in tackling these anomolies - and I also think it's time that the trade unionists here woke up and smelt the coffee and accepted that some of these protections (not just in that industry) are woefully out of date and should be changed.

But targeting anybody who wants or is able to retire before state pensionable age is equally bonkers.  We had the option to retire early, on significantly reduced pensions.  I suspect like many others here, given the size of our mortgage, it was a simple choice of moving elsewhere in the UK (our part of Kent was a no-no given the house prices) or to France; we could not afford to stay where we were.  We chose France because we preferred it to the alternatives - because we love this place and have done for years.  We don't have any capital, just our pensions, we're not rich or priveleged, just pretty ordinary (albeit professional) people.  Yes, we are lucky to have been able to give up work when we did, but we worked really hard, putting in long hours (I know for a fact that we've put in more than somebody who's worked 35 hours a week from 16 to 65) and if I'd done what I did (marketing and public relations) in the private sector, I would have been paid a great deal more.  Why shouldn't I, or anbody else for that matter be allowed to relax a bit now if they have put the work in and don't ask the state to pay them unemployment benefits or any form of social security at all?  What's so wrong with asking to be allowed to continue to pay into the state healthcare system?  We have no objection to paying more, we just object to paying to bolster insurance companies' profits.  We want to pay more so that those who can't afford it benefit from what we pay, too.  What is wrong with that?

And somewhere back in the UK, at least two younger people got jobs as a result of our leaving  - and what's more, they could easily have been French or any other European nationality.  M. Sarkozy's war is not just against us, it's againt the principal of early retirement, but I'll be interested to know what's going to happen to the unemployment figures when all this plays out to its logical conclusion.  Where will young people find new employment when loads of old buffers (sorry) are carrying on working long after their enthusiasm for their jobs has gone?  Employers are going to get hit firmly in the wallet if they offer these people early retirement - just one more encouragement (if such were needed here!) to keep people on who do not contribute as much as they once did. Will even more French people now go to the UK in search of jobs? (There are already nearly as many French people working in London as there are Brits living in France.)

It looks as if many French people may also find themselves kicked out of the state healthcare system here.  Many will now be unable to retire early.  Employers will be forced to keep on an ageing workforce, and will be unable to take on the young and unemployed as a result. So sorry, it is a matter for the French, and all EU citizens, not just us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Following on from Coops, the idea of restricting health care seems to be spreading.  Heard on a Belgium radio station (Centuary 21) last night was a brief report on French healthcare changes and that similar was being considered in Belgium.  Don't think there's much to worry about there at the moment as they don't even have a Government.  For the past 3 months or so, no party has a majority and no coalition agreement can be found, BUT when they do, it is quite possible they will persue this as one way of chipping away at their huge National debt.  I can see this idea spreading rapidly throughout the EU if France can push it and make it work, even with all the obvious downsides.  Perhaps we're heading for the American model where it seems the 'Haves' get everything and the 'Have Nots' get nothing
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pierre, when I discussed all this with Mary Honeyball's political manager, he made just this point.  It is one of the major reasons why the MEP's want to approach this as a European problem, because they see it as a fundamental part of the way the EU should work.  Portable healthcare throughout the EU would help the employed as well as the early-retired and those who currently have health problems.  French people working in the UK don't support their own (French) state healthcare system now they're young and healthy, but they'll rely on it when they retire and are more likely to become ill. So they are going to hit the French healthcare system in future years, just as we are seen to be hammering it now.  That is the point about reciprocity - everybody benefits one way or another.  With a lack of it - everybody loses.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...