THE BLOG

Family Values, American Style

09/12/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

I was born and raised in America, but I've lived in Europe for the last twenty years. I''m thinking it might be time to come home, but whether I can or not depends on the answer to this question:

Does America take care of its children?

Our son has juvenile diabetes. He's had it for seven years, since he was two years old. During that time we've lived in three countries -- Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Italy -- and he has had excellent treatment in each country. And when I say excellent, I mean superb. We visit a specialist once a month for a check-up, and once a year he has a full physical evaluation, including blood labs. We are provided all the tools we need to control his condition: insulin, blood glucose monitoring devices, needles, injection pens, etc. And every couple of months the hospital organizes a day of physical activity for all the kids they treat.

I've calculated the cost of all that over seven years, and here's what it comes to: zero.

Naturally, all this doesn't come at no cost. Somebody is paying. No, that's not exactly true. In fact, everybody is paying. I guess you could call that "socialism." Or you could call it "family values." But what difference does it make what you call it? It's good, efficient health care, for children and others, subsidized by the government. No one is excluded or has to pay through the nose because they or someone in their family has a pre-existing condition.

I've seen the European system up close and I''m here to tell you, it works.

It's discouraging to watch America "debate" the future of its health care system. I don't know if all the nonsense is a result of ignorance or greed, but it's probably both. I only hope cooler, smarter heads prevail.

Then maybe I can come home.