Let's hear a round of applause for French medical care and socialized medicine. After my major surgery, my favorite husband bailed me out of the hospital for 26 euros and brought me home. For the currency-conversion challenged, that's less than $26 US dollars. The bill covered a private hospital room from Sunday afternoon to Thursday morning; five days of 24-hour nursing care, highly competent and genuinely kind; five days of 24-hour nurses' aids and orderlies, discrete and tactful; two surgeons, including bed-side visits before and after the surgery by both of them repeatedly to offer good humor and reassuring reports; one anesthetist; operating team nurses; operating room; recovery room; meals; medication; cleaning staff capable of discussing current events and world travel; sheets, towels, and so forth. Turns out that the 26 euros was for the phone and tv. Really. Everything else was covered by our excellent Secu, which apparently is still not run by the greedy and rapacious. And when I returned home, I was visited twice daily by registered nurses who checked on my progress toward recovery and offered nursing care.