Belgium: B: Peace

After 176 days of bitter haggling, Belgium's doctors got together last week with the government on its controversial health insurance plan. When it went into effect last Jan. 1, the plan triggered angry violence, culminating in a three-week strike in April. Most of Belgium's 12,000 physicians and dentists objected not only to the fees fixed by the plan (roughly half the rate before it went into effect) but claimed that it invaded their professional privacy: health insurance firms had full review authority over doctors' reports and diagnoses.

Countless minor compromises on both sides produced...

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