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17:30Obama’s Healthcare reforms bill will boost Medical Tourism
President Obama’s health care reform bill was passed by US House
representatives. The bill would provide health coverage to an estimated
32 million additional Americans, meaning 95% of those who are legally
in this country would have health insurance, up from 83% today. |
At present it is estimated that there are more than 47 million Americans without health insurance coverage. President Obama is trying to provide health insurance coverage to another 30 million US residents through different reforms and policies.
Will this end booming of Medical Tourism industry? Will patients from US stop coming to India and other Asian countries for equal quality, less expensive medical treatments? Will US insurance companies and US employers stop looking at medical tourism options?
The answer is no, it will not stop outbound medical tourism but it might even give a boost to medical tourism industry.
Mr Naresh Jadeja, President, IWHTA explains why:
1. There will be still 17 million uninsured and more than 25 million under insured people in America after this reform. Under insured’s are more likely to opt for medical tourism and more and more insurance companies will target this group to offer them overseas health insurance options.
2. Play or Pay mandate through which President Obama is trying to force US employers to provide health insurance to their employees or else face penalty, will have a negative impact and many employers will not be able to keep employee because of rising healthcare cost and will result in layoffs. Study shows that 54 % of total work force will be still without health insurance and there might be huge round of layoffs.
3. Availability of insurance does not mean availability of care. Many urban hospitals in USA have 3 or more hours of waiting period for their emergency department. If suddenly, there are 30 million more insured patients coming to the hospital then imagine the situation in USA hospitals. Same healthcare model of UK and Canada can be somewhat repeated. People from UK and Canada is not looking for treatment outside their countries because of being denied of healthcare insurance or financial constraints, it is because of high cost of care and extensive waiting times for elective surgeries. There will be similar problems due to healthcare reforms and you will see a regular no of people leaving US for better healthcare overseas.
4. Health care reform will be in full implication from 2014 onwards. There is few more years and some analysts predict it takes more than a decade to fix such a big system.
5. There is very poor dental coverage in many state run insurance programs. More than 82 million people does not have dental coverage, and it not being a priority dental tourism will not have any effect from this health care reform bill.
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