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Columbia, A mirror of Obama’s HIR

"Healthcare is one issue that has been talked about a lot in Colombia lately. The system is dominated by private health insurance companies.

The public healthcare system for the people who cannot afford private insurance – about half of Colombia’s 44 million people – is in debt by some estimates to the tune of $3 billion dollars.

In short, there is simply no more money in government coffers to fund extensive healthcare for those who need it the most and can’t afford private insurance. Even the government has admitted in recent weeks the system is in crisis."

"Question: But there is a public plan in Colombia, explain the differences with public and private.

Jose Felix Pantiño: “It is complicated, but what we have here is an obligatory health plan. There is a private plan for the rich people, which is quite adequate. And then there is a public plan for the people in the next regiments, which is the subsidized plan, but that is a plan that is much smaller. As you descend in the social economic levels the health plans available to Colombians are less and less and less. The people in the lowest economic class, economically speaking, are the ones that get the worst care in Colombia.”

"Question: How has health become a major issue in the presidential campaign?

Jose Felix Pantiño: “We do hope the next president that will be elected Sunday will change this system. It’s been impossible to chance up to now, because the current president – Alvaro Uribe – was the Senator who presented the bill in the 1990’s (that made the system what it is today). So he considers it his bill, and he doesn’t want to change it. In spite of all the arguments we have provided. So we do have at the current time a very expensive and very unequal health care in Colombia.”

From here

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