13 September 2012
TALK about a flip-flop. Having initially promised to reverse it, Republican nominee Mitt Romney now says that if he wins the presidency, he will retain some elements of "ObamaCare"
Romney may find some clues on what to keep in The Lancet, which last week published research showing that having all Americans take out health insurance is the only way to get a healthcare system that truly benefits everyone (doi.org/jbv
In countries such as China
, Vietnam, the Philippines, India and Ghana, up to half of all costs are paid "out of pocket", that is, directly at the time of treatment. Data from 120 countries, cited in another paper (doi.org/jbw
), showed that for each 10 per cent increase in government health expenditure per head, 5 per cent fewer women die in childbirth. But for each extra 10 per cent paid out of pocket, there were 11 more deaths per 1000 women.
The key to effective universal healthcare is to have pooled finances
, through either direct taxation related to income or mandatory insurance, says Bill Savedoff of the Center for Global Development in Washington DC, lead author of one of the papers. "If everyone pays out of pocket, the rich get the care they want but the poor don't," he says. "When you combine people's payments into a pool, you start to be able to manage care for whole populations."SourceYou know what? I don't think the politicians and policy makers care much about this kind of research. They prefer 'opinions'. Preferably their own.