During the current debate on health care reform in the U.S., whenever the comprehensive government health care coverage offered in European nations (and Canada) is referred to, it is usually by conservatives, and usually with an anachronistic sneering reference to "socialized medicine" -- as if that were a bad thing. News flash -- the Cold War is over, we won, and we STILL have one of the most expensive and least effective health care systems among the developed nations of the world. I suggest that it is time to take a fresh look at the successful plans of other nations. We are not so elevated in our perfection that we cannot learn from the example of others.
Toward this end, I refer the gentle reader to Paul Krugman's recent column in the NYTimes.