US Healthcare Solutions look toward Singapore

The United States could look towards Singapore when it comes to formulating healthcare solutions. The Asian country spends the minimum on health care from among all the First World countries. Singaporeans are counted amongst the healthiest citizens in the world. The Trump administration is in a quandary. Only 12 percent of Americans support the repeal and replace measures initiated by Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader. Even few Americans want to keep the Affordable Care Act (ACA) intact sans reform. It's clear that the present solutions proposed by Washington will not satisfy the needs of Americans.

Minimal government expense

Singapore covers everybody with minimal expense to the state. The state compels everybody to make a contribution to expenses linked to healthcare, unlike the US where private insurance or government welfare programs pay full bills, leading to excessive billing. Singapore has tackled this financial menace by mandating that individuals who receive care must share the expenses. The Singaporean Government also pushes the system towards transparency by stating that the providers put in prices for all services.

Singapore, hence, came into the picture. The success of the Singapore healthcare system was first noticed and consequently written by William Haseltine in his book, 'Affordable Excellence: The Singapore Healthcare Story'.

The Central Provident Fund in Singapore offers personal funds to pay for the individual healthcare. The CPF is similar to Social Security. The Asian country then expanded its mandated savings program to the realm of healthcare. Haseltine points out that the contribution of the CPF to the healthcare system's viability could not be overstated. It assists to control expenses by instilling in the patients a sense of responsibility when it comes to their healthcare spending. The government sets all percentages. Both the employee and the employer must contribute.

Blend of free market and government

Haseltine discovered that the city state uses a system which blends free market system elements and also of the government management. This particular system will surely alienate ideologues of all kinds. The author said that the Singapore healthcare system is a much better one than what the US has at present.

Haseltine found that universal coverage is achieved in Singapore by forcing its citizens to pay to an account named MediSave. Citizens of the city state also enroll in MediShield, a kind of catastrophic care insurance. MediFund is the Singaporean model of Medicaid. It is used for offering care to indigent individuals.

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