American Health Reform

The whole debate on health care seems surreal from outside the United States. It's like... well I actually can't think of an analogy. It appears some powerful vested interests have managed to convince a lot of people that public health care - which everybody else in the world has - will mean death, destruction and the end of civilization.

Or maybe down there it will, I don't know. American culture seems such a bundle of contradictions. America succeeded in the greatest achievement in all of history - they went to the moon, for Christ's sake - and then immediately lost interest. And you're not allowed to teach real science in public schools, at least is some jurisdictions.

You can't get elected to office without being a Christian, yet it's the Christian constituency who seem desperately anxious to go to war all the time.

I read something a few years ago by an English (I think) historian, who described America as a state that essentially contains two nations, or at least two broad cultural outlooks. One, he said, is a lot like Canada - modern, energetic, good-natured and compassionate, and the other is a lot like Iran - fanatic, ill-informed, defensive and hostile.

That's likely hyperbole, but in my travels throughout the US I've certainly seen both. Fortunately, I encountered much more of the former than the latter in the circles in which I moved.

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