The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, presented the Union Budget 2018-19 on February 1st 2018. The highlight of this Union Budget was the National Health Protection Scheme. The Ayushman Bharat Scheme popularly called "Modicare", will cover more than 10 Crore vulnerable families and help more than 50 Crore poor people in India, get excellent medical treatment.
Let's compare Modicare with the highly popular Obamacare. Obamacare officially known as the Affordable Care Act, was passed by the Obama administration in March 2010. Obamacare was regarded as the former US President Obama's, biggest achievement.
Obamacare would give millions of Americans, Health Insurance, who until then had no health cover. Estimates showed that more than 50 Million Americans got health cover under Obamacare.
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Under Obamacare, it was mandatory for every citizen of the US, to have health insurance. Failure to do so would mean a tax. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, subsidies were given to middle-class families to buy health insurance. Medicaid was expanded to low-income families.
Healthcare providers and high-income families were taxed to finance Obamacare. Penalties would be charged to US citizens who did not have health insurance and this money financed Obamacare.
If you have health insurance, your plan pays for the medical costs of hospitalization. If you have a job, you get health cover provided by your employer. What happens to poor people who don't have jobs and whose employers don't provide health insurance?
Many of these poor people qualify for Medicaid which is paid for by the State and Federal Governments. Citizens who are over 65 years, receive Medicare whose premiums are subsidized by the Government. What about the rich, the self-employed and citizens who don't get health insurance from their jobs? Well...They have to pay for insurance from their own pockets and its mighty expensive.
Obamacare covers both the poor and the middle-class American.
Before Obamacare, many US citizens did not have health insurance. Many citizens had pre-existing diseases and insurers would not offer them insurance. Close to 30-50 Million citizens did not have health insurance. If they fell ill, they simply went to the hospital and didn't pay the bill.
Hospitals charged the unpaid amounts to an emergency Medicaid plan. This raised healthcare costs for pretty much, everyone. Obamacare imposed fines on citizens who refused to avail health insurance. The penalty was around $695 to be paid at the end of the year. This helped subsidize healthcare as risk would be spread across a large population.
Obamacare offered Government subsidies to citizens to buy health insurance. There were certain conditions for citizens to avail Obamacare. They had to be US Citizens and legal residents. They should not be in jail and as on the year 2017, income should not be more than around $48,240 for a single person and $98,400 for a family of four in most states.
Clearly, Obamacare scores over Modicare as it has a couple of unique things, going in its favour. Restaurants and Ice cream parlours have to compulsorily post calorie listings on their menus. No insurers can deny health cover to US citizens with pre-existing health conditions.
Modicare has just been launched. It's not possible to judge this scheme. Time will tell how this scheme will turn out. Be Wise, Get Rich.
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