China plans universal health care

They can cover 1.3 billion people for $123 billion over two years, and we’re looking as spending $1.3 trillion (or more) for 300 million people over roughly ten years (and despite what you may believe, at the end of ten years, if not sooner, the government will be the sole provider of health care insurance). Theirs works out to $47/person/year, ours is $433/person/year. What’s up with that? How can they do it so cheaply? And how many people here think that $433/year will handle their medical costs? Either I’m missing something, or nobody else has bothered doing the math.

From The New York Times:

BEIJING — China announced that it intended to spend $123 billion by 2011 to establish universal health care for the country’s 1.3 billion people.

The plan was passed Wednesday at a session of the State Council, the Chinese cabinet. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao presided.

Xinhua, the state news agency, said the authorities would “take measures within three years to provide basic medical security to all Chinese in urban and rural areas, improve the quality of medical services and make medical services more accessible and affordable for ordinary people.”

Read the rest:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/22/world/asia/22iht-beijing.1.19590543.html

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