In India we are used to absolute zero healthcare. Healthcare professionals look to earn a commission when they refer a patient to a higher specialist. Till recently doctors were in cahoots, well sort of, with pharmaceutical companies - who gave them expensive junkets abroad in exchange for prescribing their drugs. The company executives, yes those smart representatives in striped ties, measured the prescriptions originating from the doctor by monitoring the stock of the local pharmaceutical companies. I know of a doctor who wrote prescriptions on the stationery provided by the pharmaceutical companies, and of course can he ignore the name of the drug that is clearly visible on the stationery? No, nyet, nahi, nathi.
Once in my naive avatar, I was super-confident in the belief that I had mediclaim. But when I was hospitalised for a minor ailment and presented a bill of Rs 28,000 to the insurance company, they paid me half that amount after six months and endless letters, threats, and follow-up phone calls.
From Ru Freeman's account below I guess US will fare better and Sri Lanka is already better as far as healthcare is concerned. But what about reforms in healthcare in Bharatvarsh? Guess Manmohan will have to do an Obama for that.
About Obama's healthcare plan two women writes in support as follows:
Ru Freeman writes:
"In order to ask such a question, Sri Lankans would have to be suffering the same deprivations that Americans suffer today. They would also have to take it as a given that health care is something that is not commonly provided to all but, rather, reserved for a few. In the absence of those realities, no Sri Lankan child could conceive of a society where people are routinely denied medical care, where children remain un-vaccinated, and where the elderly perish because they cannot afford to visit a doctor."
Claudi Ricci writes:
"But health care legislation looks to be a go. It's a fabulously historic moment for sure. It isn't the bill that liberal Democrats most wanted (no public option) but it's a huge step forward. It provides affordable coverage to 32 million Americans who have no insurance; it keeps insurance companies from denying coverage -- or hiking rates-- to sick people who most need it. It lowers drug costs for seniors, it promotes preventive care, and miracle of miracles, according to the Congressional Budget Office, it even reduces the national debt."