Viewed from France, the discussion in the U.S. about health care overhaul leaves many people puzzled. Newspaper Le Monde described the unlikely adoption of a public option as "altogether surreal." Although the French system is less than perfect, it provides health care to the entire population. The cost per person is considerably less than that of health care in the U.S. and most industrialized nations, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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