美国医疗辩论的全球影响

坎布里奇——自从年内早些时候就任总统以来,巴拉克·奥巴马就将首要的立法重点放在了改革美国医疗体系的筹资方式上。但他的提案却由于对未来财政赤字的潜在影响而遭到强烈抵制,而抵制力量主要来自在财政问题上偏于保守的民主党和共和党。上述赤字是造成美国经常账户赤字(进而造成全球不平衡)的主要因素,因此医疗改革辩论的结果将会影响到世界各国政府和投资者。

目前约有85%的美国人拥有某种形式的医疗保险。所有65岁以上的美国人都有资格由政府出资加入Medicare计划。低收入家庭(以及收入和财产被高额医疗费用耗尽的人)可以参与由各州及联邦政府共同出资的Medicaid计划。许多没有保险的人可以在公立和私立医院的急诊室接受免费治疗,并在同样这些机构中接受慢性病的免费治疗。

在最新预算中,联邦政府2010年用于Medicare计划的支出预计将超过5000亿美元,而Medicaid则将耗费纳税人2500亿美元。私人医疗保险一般由雇主提供,政府鼓励雇主支付医疗保险费用,将其作为一项可以免税的业务开支,同时也不将医疗保险价值计入雇员的应税收入。这项规定使工资所得税减少了2000多亿美元。

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