the great "Americare" emulators still scheming
Already in the early 1990s I remember talk in the Czech media about how the Czechs should emulate the U.S. in all things policy-related. I'm talking education, health care, whatever America was doing was admired.
I recall watching a roundtable of pundits swooning over the U.S. healthcare system, in particular, arguing that the Czechs should adapt a similar scheme. Back then already I found myself shouting at the television and shaking my fists high in the air: "What a terrible idea!"
Privatization of all state assets was on the agenda way before communism toppled. The concept of market liberalization Washington-Consensus style is largely what drove the movement for a "democratic" Czechoslovakia in the late 80s. Healthcare reform, or more accurately, the wholesale auctioning off of public healthcare assets, has been in the works for nearly two decades. The transfer of public assets into private hands began right after the fall of communism, but did not take shape as rapidly as in many other Eastern Bloc countries.
Interestingly, a study published this month has shown a correlation between rapid health care privatization and disastrous effects on countries' health and mortality rates. To read more, please go to my blog Czechs in America.