Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care Reform!

What is a better way to re-activate my blog than this new Health care Reform bill? I think it is the best way to do it, so here it is people, Sukrit speaks again 
I am going to start with Japan, not with our northern neighbor, because some people just do not like anyone to bring Canadians into it, so I am picking Japan. Japan is the number 2 economy of the world and has the longest healthy life expectancy on this planet. It only spends half (in percent of GDP) as much on health care as the United States. Japan has universal health care system. That means, everyone in Japan is required to get a health insurance policy, either at work or through a community-based insurer. The Japanese government picks up the tab for those who are very poor and can’t afford a proper health care for themselves. It is a model of social insurance that is used in many wealthy countries. But it is most certainly not "socialized medicine." Eighty percent of Japan's hospitals are privately owned — more than in the United States — and almost every doctor's office, their medical clinics are private businesses.
The Japanese go to the doctor about three times as often as Americans. Because there are no gatekeepers, they can see any specialist they want. Japanese patients also stay in the hospital much longer than Americans, on average. They love technology such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); they have nearly twice as many scans per capita as Americans do. The Japanese Health Ministry tightly controls the price of health care down to the smallest detail. Every two years, the health care industry and the health ministry negotiate a fixed price for every procedure and every drug. That helps keep premiums to around $280 a month for the average Japanese family, and Japan’s employers pick up at least half of that.
If you lose your job, you keep your health insurance.
Japanese insurers are a lot more accommodating than their American counterparts. For one thing, they can't deny a claim. And they have to cover everybody. Even an applicant with heart disease can't be turned down, that is forbidden. Nor do health care plans covering basic health care for workers and their families make a profit. Anything left over is carried over to the next year. If the carryover was big, then the premium rate would go down.
No one in Japan goes broke because of medical expenses. Personal bankruptcy due to medical expenses is unheard of in Japan.
I wish this democratic congress wasn’t this scared of losing otherwise they would have done the right thing in making this new health care plan a fool proof plan for the sake of the country and for the sake of its citizens. But apparently the fear of losing next election won over them and they could not do the right thing. I still believe this new health care reform is the first step towards creating history and after 10 years when they will see the results they might move forward and do the right thing.

No comments: