Spiegel Online: “As the United States Supreme Court considers whether requiring people to have health insurance is unconstitutional, Germans are bewildered as to why so many Americans appear to be against universal coverage. They also question the continued portrayal of US President Barack Obama and his health reform backers as socialists and communists, noting that healthcare was introduced in Germany in the 19th century by Otto von Bismarck, who was definitely not a leftist, and is supported by conservative and pro-business politicians today.
“It’s a solidarity principle,” says Ann Marini, a spokesperson for the National Health Insurers Association. “Not every ‘S’ automatically means socialism.” Marini and others say that mandated coverage is something that is simply not questioned in Germany. Furthermore, even the most pro-market politicians wouldn’t dare to dismantle the country’s health insurance system.”