Thursday, September 11, 2003

Universal Health Care in Iraq

I missed this story from a few months ago, and it's got my head spinning now: apparently, the US government awarded a contract to Abt Associates in April to provide universal health service in Iraq.

A press release from US Representatives Diana DeGette (D-CO), John D. Dingell (D-MI), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) objecting to the allocation of services half way around the world while the US health care system lies in disrepair notes that the contract apportioned by USAID "seeks to 'help facilitate rapid, universal health service delivery to the Iraqi population' including 'basic health care available to 12.5 million persons' after six months and '25 million persons' after one year of program implementation. The Administration also requires all 25 million Iraqis to have maternal, child health care, and health information and education after six months of program implementation."

Granted, Iraq's health system needs massive rehabilitation, especially after more than a decade of sanctions. But if such socialized investment is good for Iraqis, why isn't it good for Americans?