Monday, March 22, 2010

Somebody's Happy About Obamacare

Who says Obamacare isn't great?

I am happy that Obamacare is passed. As a non-American living in Asia, I believe we will reap huge and almost immediate benefits from it.

Almost 50% of the US doctors may quit if this Bill is passed. Why would medical professionals want to spend more time to work longer and harder, burdened themselves with greater stress and responsibility, spend lesser time with their family for the same amount or even much lower pay (due to impending tax hikes to fund this Healthcare Bill)?

Why don’t they all come to Asia and work where they can make more money (as Asia has comparatively lower personal and corporate tax than America), work more leisurely and spend more time with their family, and with Asian economy booming and English commonly used, they can enjoy almost similar quality of life as they have in America.

Better still, by working overseas, they may avoid paying growing taxes and not penalized for not buying health insurances. When they become old or struck with disease, they can then return back to US and buy comprehensive health insurance that are subsidized by other American taxpayers who are still staying behind.

Like the 1930’s German Jews who were legislated to work much harder, earn much lesser and yet be demonized and made scapegoats, US healthcare providers may be force to quit America just as the German Jews who were forced to abandon Germany and came to America to make her a much stronger and richer place while Germany became weaker and poorer.

I believe the fastest and effective way to improve healthcare is to increase the number of healthcare providers. This is something that cannot be computerized or mechanized as patients require quality face-to-face time with their medical professionals. They are as rare and limited resources like oil or uranium. It is very expensive and time-consuming to train and groom medical talents. It is much cheaper and faster to poach them from other countries.

Whenever I visit hospital, I always see many foreign workers here as doctors, nurses and pharmacists. I feel sorry for their home country as their governments have spent huge resources and money to groom their professional careers. Their people have placed high hope on them to improve the country healthcare services. But these healthcare providers choose to abandon their fellow countryman and come here to serve us in return for a better quality of life.

But when I look at myself, I find that I don’t have to wait longer queue and not paying exorbitant cost. I don’t feel bad and sorry for their country. As a matter of fact, I feel very happy for myself and hope that all healthcare providers will abandon their country and come here to work. It is the fault of their own government for failing to keep them in place.

In recent years, there is an increase of Caucasian faces among the foreign medical professionals here. This show that the pay and quality of life offered is competitive to that in developed country. With Obamacare becoming law, we hope to see more American medical professionals quit their country and come here to work.

Furthermore, there is an intense competition among Asian countries to attract foreign medical tourists.

In both government and private hospitals, one can always find foreigners from different countries as the medical cost here is cheaper compared to US. The hospitals have to upgrade their facilities and attract top medical talents to stay competitive.

The local patients who are receiving subsidized care can enjoy better service as they would also be sharing these facilities and expertise as well. These foreign patients will pay full market rate for the services allowing the government and hospitals to use these handsome profit to subsidize local patients.

US doctors who are hesistant to quit America because they worry that local patients cannot pay their service can instead cater their services to these high-end foreign patients. Governments have set up agencies overseas to promote their healthcare services so that there is a growing stream of rich patients to come to Asia for doctors here to make more money. These foreign patients usually stay longer, bring more family and friends with them, willing to spend any amount of money to save their life, and more likely to return for regular medical check-ups.

These foreign patients help to stimulate local economy more diversely and create more jobs than other tourist groups. With the impending ObamaCare, foreign patients may be discouraged from going to America and instead come to Asia, and thus deprive America a lucrative source of revenue.

While we win more high-end foreign medical tourists, you may gain more of the undesirable ones, ie illegal immigrants. “We got the corn, you got the husk” as Arnold put it. These low-end foreign “tourists” may wear down your already demoralized healthcare providers and bankrupt the system. Hopefully, these illegal immigrants will overwhelm your medical providers and drive them out of America into Asia.

In the end, Obamacare may or may not become the law of the land. However, the complicated procedure and heated debates have most certainly heightened anxiety and distress among the medical professionals making them vulnerable to poaching by foreign countries.

No man is an island. You do not expect America competitors to sit down, relax, idle and do nothing while watching America cuts its own throat. We will most definitely march out in full force to exploit and capitalize your blunders to our maximum benefits.

The competition for medical talents and medical tourists is a cut-throat, zero-sum business. Your loss is our gain. While Obama is busy tearing down the city wall and driving away its best city defenders, the barbarians at the gate are watching lustily and happily.

- Ymchoo at C4P

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