There is a great deal of debate going on in the United States about reforming our health care system. Much of the debate centers around whether or not we want the government to be the primary provider of health care. No one is advocating for a publicly owned health care system, only that the government pay for it, but everyone who is opposed to more government involvement assumes that this will ultimately lead to a complete government take over of the health care system. I personally do not find this too frightening, but many people are very afraid of having only public health care. There are numerous anecdotes being circulated about poor health care in European countries. They typically revolve around long waiting periods or being dictated to by the health care bureaucracy as to what procedures you can have and when you can have them if at all. There are a couple of facts in all of this that I find intriguing; European countries evidently spend about half as much per person as in the US for health care and life expectancy in Europe is high than in the US so whatever else the European health care system is doing, it's apparently not shortening lives. Would anyone with experience with European health care systems care to try to make sense out of all this for me?