Thursday, June 28, 2012

Healthcare Legislation is Relevant to the Whole World

The decision of the US Supreme Court to uphold Affordable Healthcare Legislation is of great interest to the whole world, not merely to the US. Visit

Insurance is a good idea for evening out the burden of unpredictable health costs. Life strikes some people very hard and insurance, in principle, can spread the burden over the whole adult population and make life bearable for the poor souls who get hit by diseases that necessitate major expenses. But how does one ensure that the health insurance industry is properly regulated? How does one prevent excesses in healthcare costs being imposed by hospitals and doctors? Can one do all this without excessive bureaucracy?

I hope that leading university departments of public health around the world give these questions adequate attention. Such departments in the US will no doubt have their primary focus on the US context. However, some researchers should suggest answers to these questions at a more global level; they should, at the least, stimulate a worldwide debate on this topic. It is not clear if a UN body such as the WHO can do anything about these questions.  Let us ask!/who
People in many countries live on per capita GDPs at the level of a small fraction of the US per capita GDP. Giving them satisfactory healthcare is not easy. Neither the individual nor the state can bear the huge costs of modern healthcare. Researchers have to investigate this immense challenge and provide some answers. Ultimately we can do only what we can do! No more! We have to apply our mind to the issue of what we can do if we come up with the best possible ideas.

Srinivasan Ramani

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