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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Indonesia, population 270 million, rolls out single payer system, 48% get free care

Christian Science Monitor:

Indonesia launches world's largest health insurance system
Indonesia is planning to phase-in the world’s largest single-payer health care insurance program between now and 2019. Under the new system, the government is committed to providing universal health care to its 247 million citizens, though employers and wealthier citizens are obliged to pay their own premiums.

The program was mandated by a law passed in 2004. But opposition from industry had stood in the way until now, since the law will require employers to pay premiums. The government also dragged its feet on implementation and was successfully sued in 2010 by a worker's rights group for failing to follow the law.

Still, it's a measure of Indonesia's ambitions and rising expectations that the government is trying to roll out health services for all.

Indonesia extended free health insurance to 48 percent of its population on Jan. 1. By the time the system is fully implemented in 2019 it will cover the whole country at an estimated cost of $15 billion a year – about $60 per Indonesian citizen and 15 percent of the central government’s budget.

Sheesh. It's like the United State is like a third-world country, or something. Oh, wait...

For you, it is!

Health workers here believe that JKN will go a long way to making medical services more available.

“It’s absolutely going to help improve services,”
says Dr. Lies Anggriani, director of a public health clinic in Jakarta. After six years as the clinic administrator she is relieved that government health insurance means turning away fewer people because they can’t afford treatment.

Her clinic is a sort of mother ship for a host of smaller offices that dot North Jakarta, a district of about 4.7 million. Slums huddle under highway overpasses to Jakarta's main airport and to its industrial parks by the port. About 200 patients visit the clinic’s four doctors every day. The doctors say the profile of illness here is changing, as more people complain of chronic illnesses rather than communicable diseases that used to be common.

Imagine! Turning away people because they can't afford care. Barbaric, or what?

NOTE Scanning the article, I see plenty of issues with the program, but at least they've got that universal thing down, right? Nice to see career "progressives" picking up the cudgels on this one. Oh, wait.... Again....

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V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

Theoretically, every man, woman, and child is covered here in LOS; the reality is, some do slip through the cracks. My wife's coverage is amazing and I'm included in that coverage. But, my wife is a civil servant, so, her coverage is not representative of the general population. That isn't to negate the fact that "everybody" has coverage for ฿35 (about $1.10 USD)/visit to a hospital and a doctor. IME, it's pretty good coverage and I've only dealt with one doctor with whom I had a problem; that's out of 10 or 11 different doctors over the last decade. A few have been outstanding. By the way, that was a reference to when I have used the very same doctors and hospitals as the general population. This was before I had insurance. I do use a local Catholic hospital most of the time. I'll also add, I'm blessed with mostly good health and rarely visit the doctor.
The reality is that many emerging third world countries still take better care of their citizens than the most bankrupt (morally), militarily powerful, country in the world.
But with neoliberal economics invading (like an invading army) every countries policies like a malignant, aggressive cancer, the pressure is on even here to tighten the social safety net.

V. Arnold's picture
Submitted by V. Arnold on

...Thailand has a population of about 62 million. 15% of whom are infected with Hep-B.
Yes, that's correct, 15%, do the math; 9,300,000 people.
Thailand is very good at caring for Hep-B patients, but can't afford (for the most part), the effective western medicines, to effectively treat to the best future outcomes...