User profile: michael2015

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Rediculous health insurance comment

Tony
Inaccuracy is a matter of perspective. The debt I vaguely referenced was US publicly financed debt, raised by the KMT to support its efforts during WW2 and plunged into chaos when the KMT retreated to Taiwan. It's a source of "hot" contention for those interested in such things. Hopefully that will sate your incitement to the fantastic. On a less savory note - now I'm also wondering if China repaid its war debt to the USA as it seems more complicated than a single lump-sum war debt. Too complicated for me.

On the issue of segmenting and compartmentalizing as Napoleon suggested - that's absolutely imperative. If Obamacare crashed on launch for a few million Americans, I shudder to think what would happen in densely populated provinces such as Yunnan and Sichuan, much less trying to aggregate all this information into a monolithic Beijing database, but those are also technical issues.

Segmentation into bite-sized pieces is an operational solution. It doesn't address the core issues of financial and economic feasibility and sustainability, which I believe ultimately doomed Obamacare.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Rediculous health insurance comment

@geezer - thanks for clarifying that point. I didn't know about the UK war debt to the USA - I was under the impression it was forgiven also.

War debts are typically forgiven at the sovereign level, in exchange for other barter - such as economic privileges (example - building railroads using the "forgiving" nation's firms as prime contractors, etc). The government of Taiwan (KMT) incurred significant private debts from WW2 approaching roughly USD 1 trillion in today's value, that are now expected to be repaid by China, to include back interest and potentially penalties. Given the history of settlements on other debts, China might opt to settle for literally pennies against the face value of the debt. Most of the owners of that original debt are dead, so I'd venture to guess the inheritors would settle, given the opportunity.

If China were able to create a sustainable and affordable national healthcare plan - would that essentially become the potential model for the rest of the world?

Given the scale and complexity of the project, I'm interested in observing China's solution to this critical social issue.

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Forums > Living in Kunming > Rediculous health insurance comment

USA = United States of Amnesia.

While it's true that the Chinese government and people at the time experienced one of the worst famines in Chinese history, ostensibly due to the failed Great Leap program, China was under US (aka UN) trade embargoes AND was still paying off its war debts to the former USSR using badly needed grain.

It's also worth noting that China is the ONLY country in the world that paid off its entire war debt to the USA, unassisted by Taiwan. EVERY other country including German and Japan, were "forgiven" vast portions of their remaining war debts to the USA, EXCEPT China. So the politics involved complicate and bias the image western media and history would have us believe.

A couple of excellent examples of historical bias are the UK and French perspectives on Joan d'Arc and the UK and US perspectives on Benedict Arnold (hero spy or treasonous spy). History is always a matter of perspective.

So, yes - China suffered a major famine - but NOBODY is completely innocent and NOBODY is completely guilty.

Historically, in China, when the people are in such dire straits, revolution is sure and quick to follow, so the fact that the government managed to keep the country unified during those turbulent times was also a testament to its leadership. And we all know the USA and its allies were working overtime to destabilize the PRC using whatever Machiavellian means possible, to advance it's alleged platform of global "democracy".

Some will of course pick and choose the brutality - but this is no more brutal than the US Civil War, the Korean War, or the millennial conflicts currently waging across the middle east and Africa, or China's own incredibly long and bloody and brutal history during the Warring States period.

It's incredibly easy to criticize and tear down, but much more difficult to provide constructive criticism.

On that note, China generally provides basic healthcare for roughly 1.4 billion people. Obamacare failed and Americans also had to PAY for the privilege of "affordable" health care, which became "unaffordable" to both the participating health insurers and arguably, to the participants.

This point is NOT to gloat over the demise of Obamacare - it was a valiant effort, poorly planned, poorly executed, and probably and eventually, poorly shutdown.

Affordable, quality health care is a major pressing social issue for both China, the USA, and many other countries in the world. Current models of socialized health care in Canada and Scandinavia may or may not be realistic for a country of this size.

So how to finance and implement such a complicated and expensive national infrastructure, in a sustainable manner is the core issue. The potential solutions are in front of our eyes, but it will require a major shift in culture and behavior.

On that note - I understand China's 13th Five Year Plan is also focused on the ELIMINATION of poverty by 2020 - a very worthy goal, that should be interesting to see.

Both China, Japan, and the USA's social security (retirement) programs face similar challenges.

So now we know the issues, how should the government fix these critical social problems, in an economically and socially feasible, sustainable and scalable manner?

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Yereth
I was thinking that gokm could maybe get the Kunming Tourism Dept and the KM Metro et al to pay for a professionally illustrated bilingual PDF map and maybe start a series of web articles and videos on things to do and see (and eat) at each station - aside from the major tourism venues.

NHK (Japan) did this about 20 years ago - very popular and interesting series - inspires people to get out, socialize (when it's safe) and support local businesses...or not.

Grace
The referenced map was an ANCIENT planning map...hence the hint hint hint hint to the gokm staff - when they have budget and absolutely nothing better to do with their time...

Yereth's map is great as a geographic index - but most high density subway maps (Beijing, Tokyo) go for the symbolic stations shown in the ancient picture I referenced. These things are great as either screensavers, desktop wallpapers, or mobile phone pictures (screensavers, wallpapers) for those who commute within the bellies of these steel dragons.

I used to carry around subway maps on small plastic cards (doubled as my prepaid card) when exploring these cities. Each station had uniquely popular venues for both tourists and long-term locals alike (popular eateries, shopping boutiques, etc).

Reviews

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DATE
2022.01.17

SUMMARY
Just popped in for the annual to biennial visa health check. Cost was CNY 487 - don't forget to bring at least THREE (3) visa pictures and your mask.

As usual, there are TWO health codes to display - the usual kunming/yunnan green QR code and the green "Arrow" code.

ARRIVAL
I went late in the morning, but still managed to shuttle through all the departments and get out before lunch.

I used didi to get there and the map now correctly shows the rear parking entrance as the destination drop-off point. You can also take the subway to a nearby station, and walk walk walk walk walk - it's actually not too far but it will elevate your blood pressure and pulse (BPP) - so make sure to rest 5-10 minutes to allow your BPP to drop back to resting state.

Upon arrival at the main gate, you'll do the usual check-in procedure - mask, sign-in, green QR code, temperature check.

Once inside - Present your passport, green QR code, and green (hopefully) arrow code. Scan the QR codes on your left as you walk in if you don't have these prepared already. The staff will then pass you an application form. Walk over to the wall of stand-up desks to your right, fill out the forms, then stroll over to the clerks to present the form. They'll print out a sheet of bar coded labels for your tests, take your digital picture, attach everything together with a paper clip, then direct you to the cashier to pay CNY 487 (WeChat, alipay, bank card, etc) Don't know if they still accept cash.

HEALTH CHECKS
Hike up the the 2nd or 3rd floor to start the battery of tests:

3rd floor

Chest X-ray

Physical (height, weight, BMI/body mass index)

2nd floor

ECG

Sonogram

Urine test

Blood Test

Eye test (color blindness and eye chart)

Dental

Heart (pulse, blood pressure)

I may have missed a few like the OB GYN...

It seems they also have a COVID/NAT (nucleic acid test) center in a shipping container lab outside the health center - but I didn't bother jogging over to check if it was still operational. In retrospect, should've checked, as the hospitals are jam packed with Chinese New Year travelers.

RESULTS PICKUP
The test results are ready the afternoon of the second day. The facility seems sparsely busy even though they service both foreigners and nationals. There were rarely lines or noticeable waits beyond a few minutes, with at most 1-2 people ahead of you.

Staff are always nice, polite, professional and tirelessly patient for those of us with limited to no communications abilities.

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Standard, clean, well-furnished and appointed mall with the usual fare:
Starbucks
MacDonalds
Bread stores, Drink stores, a mid-end Radisson business hotel
The usual mall stores, movie theaters, and a host of after school training schools (robotics, language, dance, art etc).

Evenings are the usual mini-carnival activities for small children - carnival rides, the ubiquitous electric cars, an illuminated water fountain, a host of kiddie games etc etc etc.

Across the street - a scaled down Aegean Mall (also named Aegean Mall).

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I occasionally visit the Kai Wah Plaza International Hotel to attend Kunming Rotary Club events. Although I've never stayed in the hotel or viewed its rooms (now on my bucket list) - the food has always been excellent both in presentation, aroma, taste, flavor, etc from appetizers to desserts - with a well-stocked and diverse wine selection - typical of international 5-star hotels. Kudos.

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Met a friend after dinner for drinks and chat up on the rooftop patio/bar. Music was a little loud for us - but was surprised at this jewel of a bar. What a nice comfortable place.

I was told the hostel only charges cny40 a night for a shared room bunk bed - can't beat that.

Truly a gem for travelers on a budget and the rooftop bar has a beautiful and memorable sunset view (see the pictures).

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Stopped by last night for dinner on the small patio and to pick up a couple of their apple pies. Always attentive and courteous staff and good solid food. Don't forget to check out their freezers for frozen foods like chicken and beef pot pies, pizzas, quiches, cakes etc.