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US healthcare: Obama talks to curb medical tourism to India

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday said his aim was to change the US healthcare system to discourage Americans from seeking medical treatment in India and Mexico. HT reports

world Updated: Apr 22, 2011 10:56 IST
HT Correspondent

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday said his aim was to change the US healthcare system to discourage Americans from seeking medical treatment in India and Mexico.

His healthcare reforms - called Obamacare by critics - is being opposed by Republicans on the ground that it will add up to the country's expenses, thereby worsening the debt situation.

"My preference would be that you don't have to travel to Mexico or India for cheap healthcare," he said in response to a question about why US health insurance won't cover medical expenses incurred abroad.

"I'd like you to be able to get it right here in the United States of America that's high quality."

Obama also said that prices of prescription drugs must be brought down "so that you don't feel like you're getting cheated because you're paying 30% more or 20% more than prescription drugs in Canada or Mexico."

In the run up to the elections in November, Obama had repeatedly brought up off-shoring to India and how he intended to change rules to keep US jobs from going to India.