The French national health-care system is called Sécurité Sociale. It is currently running a $13 billion deficit, but President François Hollande has some ideas about a new direction for the program. For starters, in 2013, it will start covering the cost of abortion entirely. That’s right: If you get an abortion in France, the “government” will pick up the tab and it won’t cost you a dime. But in the name of fiscal responsibility, the president will pay for the new spending by taxing seniors. Hes planning on imposing a tax of 0.15 percent on retirees, which will double in 2014. To be fair, the revenue from the new tax is not just meant to cover the new “abortion” spending, but also to reduce the deficit. We’ll see how well that goes.
This decision, like others before, shows the bizarre set of priorities of the new French president. At a time when France’s economic growth rate is zero for the second quarter in a row, you would think that Hollande’s government would be more serious about addressing the economy’s problems. One way would be to announce that he will renounce his oppressive tax program and finally start cutting spending. But I am afraid he will only consider those options when the country is on the verge of government-caused collapse.