The Atlantic, May 9, 2014

Americans have been resisting the idea of universal healthcare since at least the 1940s, when President Harry Truman tried to launch a federal program to train doctors and insure every American. His effort disintegrated amid anti-Soviet sentiments. "Would socialized medicine lead to socialization of other phases of American life?" asked one pamphlet put out by the American Medical Association at the time. "Lenin thought so." By that time, most nations in Northern Europe had been running national healthcare programs for years. Germany was the first: In 1883, Otto von Bismarck sought to shore up his power by granting sick leave and health insurance to workers.

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