first impressions

The day began today in China (for us) with……Fox News! and the O’Reilly Factor–which works well as a morning talk show!

Fox News.  Communist China.  Go figure.  Maybe it has something to do with Obama and Napolitano both on Fox today?  Nice to see the left venturing outside their comfort zones on CNN and MSNBC.

(Update: Over in Shenzhen this afternoon–crossing the border from Hong Kong to China, we said goodbye to Fox News.  13 years into the 100 year merger of Hong Kong and China, looks like China proper will have to wait a little longer for Fox News.)

We read some illuminating articles in the China Daily (state) newspaper in transit.  In a story about closing down ubiquitous unlicensed health clinics in China, the China Daily noted, “More than half of the rural population of China does not have adequate medical insurance.”  The rural population is around 800 million.  And migrant workers are not reimbursed for health care because people only get insurance reimbursement for fees incurred in the region they are from, not fees incurred in the region where they live and work.  So, the government is trying to shut down market health care alternatives while also using health insurance as a tool to control migration.

On the next page of the 3/16/10 China Daily (page 9), an editorial says, “In the United States, the epitome of Western culture, it is difficult for a person without health insurance or enough money to get medical treatment.  Visitors to the US, especially from poorer countries may be refused access to healthcare.”  Well, this is simply misinformation.  EMTALA guarantees health care to the point of stabilization to anyone who walks into a hospital emergency room.  Moreover, it’s an unfunded mandate. Hospitals don’t get reimbursed for care provided under EMTALA.

It would be more productive for China to focus on health care provision for its uninsured and insured people than to obfuscate their own problems with straw man allegations about the U.S. system, which, though imperfect, is pretty good.

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