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Europe's superior healthcare

REGARDING JOHN Link's Oct. 24 letter ''In Europe, healthcare isn't free":

I live in France, and no, healthcare is not free. But it is available to everyone, whether they are working or not. It allows people to maintain preventive care while allowing advanced surgery with very little out-of-pocket expenses. I have benefited from all of this coverage despite the fact that I am an American living in France, and despite the fact that, for about two years, I was unemployed. I was able to get surgery for cervical cancer within eight weeks of it being detected. If my parents lived here, they would be able to get the prescription medicines that keep them healthy at a fraction of the cost they pay in Maine.

Yes, unemployment is high, but that reflects more the choices of businesses that would rather pay out dividends to their stockholders than provide jobs to people who could then contribute to the economy. That, unfortunately, is a result of trying to copy America, where some have good healthcare and others have none; where the working poor can't afford to buy private healthcare and can't get covered by their employers.

If those are your choices, so be it. But don't try to justify them by pointing to how bad the European system is. I've experienced both, and the European way is far better than the American way.

LISA SPENCER
Lille, France
The writer is a former resident of Pembroke, Mass.

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