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After reading and listening to all of the volatile responses in the media — both pros and cons — I have reached the conclusion that there will probably won’t be health-care legislation in 2009, 2010, or any other year in the coming decade. Presidents since Roosevelt and Truman have tried to succeed with some sort of health-care legislation, and all have failed. Therefore, I suspect that, by the time this is published, Barack Obama will also have failed.

First, let me correct some errors in the first two sections of this series. The day after Senator Ted Kennedy’s funeral, PBS’s Bill Moyers ran a special Now program about health insurance that was very enlightening, as well as disturbing. Much of what was said by the producers in the program was what this column concluded in the first two sessions. However, it also noted some errors I had made. France does not have socialized medicine. It is a private system with private insurance, but coverage is universal. In the U.K., only about 40 percent of the physicians are directly employed by the government. The rest are private, but they are paid by the government for whatever treatment they provide to their patients. Furthermore, in the U.K. the government runs the pharmaceutical companies, a fact I did not know.

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