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"The people get the government they deserve" - Alexis de Tocqueville.

Similarly they get the healthcare they deserve.

as for krugman's article: there really are no lederhosen in switzerland. that would be bavaria in germany.

as to our health care system. it works, though bought dearly. I pay ~ CHf 2.500 (~2.300 USD) annualy as a 23 year old male.

The saddest thing about the Atlantic article is that the exact same thing happened to another doctor named Ignaz Semmelweis way back in the 1840s. Kurt Vonnegut wrote about him in his last book, "A Man Without a Country": "My hero is Ignaz Semmelweis. He was born in Budapest in 1818, and he lived for 47 years. He became an obstetrician, which should make him modern hero enough. He devoted his life to the health of babies and mothers. We could use more heroes like that. There is damn little caring for mothers or babies or old people or anybody physically or economically weak these days.

"I have told you how new all this information we have is. It is so new that Louis Pasteur's idea that many diseases are caused by germs is only about 120 years old.

"Ignaz Semmelweis also believed that germs could cause disease. He was horrified when he went to work for a maternity hospital in Vienna to find that one mother in 10 was dying of childbed fever there. They were poor people. Rich people still had their babies at home.

"Semmelweis observed hospital routines and began to suspect that doctors were bringing the infection to the patients. He noticed that the doctors often went directly from dissecting corpses in the morgue to examining mothers in the maternity ward. He suggested, as an experiment, that the doctors wash their hands before touching the mothers. What could be more insulting? How dare he make such a suggestion to his social superiors? He was a nobody, you realize.

"But all that dying went on and on and Semmelweis, having so far less sense about how to get along with others in this world than you and I would have, kept asking colleagues to wash their hands. They at last agreed to do it, in a spirit of lampoonery, of satire, of scorn. How they must have lathered and lathered and scrubbed and scrubbed.

"The dying stopped.

"Imagine that: the dying stopped. He saved all those lives. Subsequently, it might be said that he has saved millions of lives---including, quite possibly, yours and mine.

"What thanks did Semmelweis get from the leaders of his profession and Viennese society---guessers all? He was forced out of the hospital and out of Austria itself, whose people he had served so well. He finished his career in a provincial hospital in Hungary. There he gave up on humanity and on knowledge, and on himself. One day in the dissecting room, he took the blade of a scalpel with which he had been cutting up a corpse, and he stuck it on purpose into the palm of his hand. He died, as he knew he would, of blood poisoning soon afterward.

"The guessers had had all the power. They had won again. Germs indeed!

"The guessers revealed something else about themselves, too, which we should duly note: they aren't realty interested in saving lives. What matters to them is being listened to, as, however ignorantly, their guessing goes on and on."


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