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Cuban doctors heading home in Brasilia last month, after criticism by President-elect Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil prompted Cuba’s government to sever a cooperation agreement.CreditCreditAdriano Machado/Reuters

A few weeks ago, the Cuban government announced it would withdraw from the Brazilian medical program Mais Médicos, which sends doctors to remote, underserved areas in Brazil. It’s estimated that millions of citizens could be deprived of primary health care after the departure of roughly 8,600 Cuban doctors from the country. The decision was prompted by demeaning remarks made by Brazil’s right-wing president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro.

Mr. Bolsonaro has repeatedly questioned the qualifications of Cuban doctors: “We have no proof that they are really doctors and able to take on these functions,” he said recently. This is false: All foreign doctors working for the program need to present their degrees and their licenses to practice medicine abroad.…  Seguir leyendo »

This week's congressional battle over the GOP move to repeal President Obama's Affordable Care Act, as well as the NAACP's boos in response to Mitt Romney's proposed elimination of what he called the "nonessential " Obamacare program, provides yet another reminder of how divided America has become over this issue.

Other nations have avoided these rifts and built a consensus for universal health care coverage. Consider the case of Brazil.

Since the early-20th century, the government and civil society have been proactive in establishing health care as a common good, while sharing the burden of paying for these services through a myriad of taxes.…  Seguir leyendo »