The rest of the industrialized world scratches its head in wonderment as the greatest economic power on earth--the shining city on the hill--squabbles over something they've all taken for granted for generations.
Why are we so far behind even our Canadian cousins when it comes to health care? It's our uniquely American way of viewing the solution to societal needs through the prism of the free enterprise system.
From the days that the Declaration of Independence was written and before, government has been viewed as something individuals need to be protected from, while other countries see it as the collectivization of individual needs under one paternalistic umbrella.
Both approaches have their pros and cons. Unfortunately, looking after the medical health of all citizens, including the underprivileged, is not one of free enterprise's strong suits.
Obama is trying to get Congress to go out on a limb with this one, and Congress is never comfortable treading where its immediate self-interest does not lie. One thing the Republicans are right about: If health care reform does pass, it'll be with us for good, because no member of any party will be willing to take back something the have-nots have begun to enjoy for the very first time.