Monday, March 19, 2012

Déjà Vu

CNN presented a show yesterday titled GPS Road Map for Saving Health Care. The GPS there stands for “Global Public Square.” It was a well-done comparison of heath care programs around the globe, including the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and Switzerland. But I kept having a powerful sense of déjà vu—if not the genuine kind. I really remembered seeing something quite like this. As one segment ended I went to tell Brigitte what the next country on the list would be. Sure enough. I had been right. And after the show ended I said to her: “I’ve seen something very much like this, very much. The same absolute content, same sequence—even some of the people interviewed are the same.”

It turns out I was right; I did the digging this morning. Back on April 15, 2008 PBS’ Frontline presented a program called Sick Around the World. That program had segments on health care as delivered in the United States, UK, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Switzerland.  President Obama signed our health care bill on March 23, 2010, thus two years later. CNN’s program, presented by Fareed Zakaria, was quite excellent, Zakaria’s summation correct and eloquent. Such shows, however, have zero influence on actual political behavior. The reason for that is another interesting subject.

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