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Universal health care: a no-brainer

By Gwynne Dyer      

Since half of that enormous American spending on health goes to profit-making enterprises like insurance companies, there is an immensely rich and powerful lobby fighting to keep the public-private controversy alive in the United States, but elsewhere, even in much poorer countries, it is a no-brainer. Like in India, for example.

People are already calling it ‘Modicare’ (after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pictured with former U.S. president Barack Obama), and it does bear more than a passing resemblance to Obamacare. India currently spends only one percent of its GDP on health care, so there’s still a very long way to go—and as always in India, the tricky bit is actually implementing the programme, especially in the rural areas. (Free government hospitals are mostly in the cities.) Photograph courtesy of Commons Wikipedia

LONDON, U.K.—It began, as so many things do these days, with a Donald Trump tweet. Frustrated by his inability to kill the ‘Obamacare’ expansion of public health-care provision in the United States, Trump seized on a protest about the under-funding of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) in London on Feb. 3 to trash the entire concept of universal healthcare paid out of taxes and free at the point of delivery.

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