Posted: February 5, 2010 by Afyanet Africa in Medical News
Tags: , , , , , ,

With all the talk about Obama’s Health Care plan in the news lately, I’m still surprised that the nobody in the media talks about the actual plan – they just talk about the endless fighting that’s going on between politicians over the plan. So to inform the public, I’d thought I’d summarize the actual plan that’s being debated about, and the arguments for and against then plan.

First, why have heath care reform?

  • Everybody agrees our health care system is broken.
  • The U.S. has a complicated health care system of insurance, doctors, and patients. If you go to the doctor in America, you have to pay the doctor, the insurance company, and fight about who pays who and how much.
  • American has the most expensive health care system in the world, yet ranks 37 in the world in health care performance and 72 in world in overall level of national health. (World Health Organization, 2000)
  • Health care costs are rising three times the rate of wages, so people are unable to keep up with the cost of keeping healthy.
  • The U.S. does not have universal health care, so people who cannot afford insurance cannot go to a doctor because they can’t afford it.
  • The health insurance industry needs serious reform. Health insurance is a business in the U.S., so companies will raise prices on people who are expensive to insure and kick people off health insurance rolls if they become to expensive too keep healthy.

Obama’s Health Care Plan Summarized

  • Cover all Americans with health insurance by requiring employers to provide health insurance to their employees. Mandating all children have health insurance.
  • Allow workers to keep their employer-provided health insurance if they lose their job (or in between jobs).
  • Outlaw the practice of insurance companies rejecting people because of pre-existing health conditions. And make insurance premiums the same for everybody regardless of health status.
  • Provide a one-stop marketplace, called National Health Insurance Exchange, for customers to compare and shop for insurance plans.
  • Have a government run “public” health insurance option to provide low-cost, affordable health insurance for everybody, spur competition.
  • Read the full plan here:

Arguments in favor of Obama’s Health Care Plan

  • 46 millions of Americans, or 18% of the population under 65, are currently without health insurance and can not afford to see a doctor. The plan will insure almost all Americans.
  • Health care costs will rise if we do nothing, putting health insurance out of reach for more and more Americans. The plan will bring down health care costs.
  • Health care needs reform. This is the closest we’ve ever been to reforming health care in America.

Argument opposing Obama’s Health Care Plan

  • It’s expensive. No one knows the true cost of a government-run health care plan. The costs will add to the deficit.
  • Paying for the plan will include a tax increase on wealthy Americans (making anywhere from $350k-$1m + a year). Wealthy Americans will have to pay more taxes.
  • Having a government-run health care plan can be a precursor to government taking over the entire health care system – limiting consumer choice in health care.


  • Won’t add a dime to the deficit and is paid for upfront.
  • Requires additional cuts if savings are not realized.
  • Implements a number of delivery system reforms that begin to rein in health care costs and align incentives for hospitals, physicians, and others to improve quality.
  • Creates an independent commission of doctors and medical experts to identify waste, fraud and abuse in the health care system.
  • Orders immediate medical malpractice reform projects that could help doctors focus on putting their patients first, not on practicing defensive medicine.
  • Requires large employers to cover their employees and individuals who can afford it to buy insurance so everyone shares in the responsibility of reform.



Wananchi are set to benefit from a new scheme that makes it easier and cheaper to see a doctor.

This will reduce the number of people turning to quacks and herbalists. It will also mean fewer people detained or turned away from hospitals for failing to pay bills.

Affordable outpatient services will now be possible for more people through membership of the National Hospital Insurance Fund. The fund, which has only been paying in-patient bills for its members, recently rolled out an outpatient cover pilot project. This will initially be tested in Nairobi and Mumias to ensure it caters for urban and rural communities adequately. If the six-month pilot project runs successfully, all Kenyans will be able to join the scheme.

Medical Services Minister Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, who officiated at the scheme’s rollout ceremony in Mumias town, said a national social insurance scheme was being developed to benefit patients at all levels.

Patients wait for treatment at a health facility. New NHIF health insurance scheme for outpatients will enable many to access healthcare.

With more than 400 accredited hospitals across the country including Government, faith-based and private hospitals, NHIF is the most widely available medical cover in the country. If its outpatient scheme were rolled out successfully, it would significantly alter the outpatient insurance landscape.

The successful roll out of the outpatient product will result in a major reawakening of the medical insurance business in Kenya, which has for long given low income people a wide berth.

Indeed, some medical insurance companies even decline to offer individual medical covers, opting exclusively for corporate business.

My Kenyan Brothers & Sisters ‘kati’ ya US na sisi nani munoma……..?

  1. aknownemass says:

    Yaani there are more Americans than Kenyan who cannot afford healthcare! Am sure in Kenya we only have like 30 Million without access

  2. peninah musyoka says:

    i think these are
    good ideas but implementing that is not easy.

  3. luchiri says:

    yote inanichangamix but sisi tuko yuu if we can do wat the Americans cannot do..

  4. afyanet says:

    Kibaki Juu…..lakini Obama ni mutoto yetu….

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