The Indian Government plans to introduce a health-reform, the “National Health Protection Scheme” (NHPS) that is commonly called “Modicare”, named after its Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The program was inspired by the health care program of the former US-President Obama, which also became known with regard to his inventor. And just as “Obamacare” was just a big PR coup and not a bit of serious health care for the masses, "Modicare" joins as an image booster as well.

“Modicare” promises 500 million Indians access to health insurance for the first time in their lives, making it the biggest health care project ever attempted. At the moment, 70 Million Indians go deep into debt and are facing huge poverty every year because they can’t afford the necessary doctor visits and medication and have to finance nearly all health expenditure by themselves. The few benefits paid by the old state are completely overrun, and therefore no safe way to get medical aid. And now Modi promises is to end this rotten, non-existent “health care system” by providing 100 million poor families (five persons per household) with health care insurance, including a cost protection up to half a million rupees (c.a 6.200€).

He is by far not the first one who says he is going to change the health care situation in India. Since 2008 the previous governments have announced to make steps towards this, but nothing ever changed for the people. Although India is one of the 20 biggest economies in the world it only invests one percent of its gross domestic product in health care. Because of this – and because health is a profitable business for the capitalists – millions of Indians have treatable diseases which aren’t cured yet – not only due to the individual inability to pay for treatment but also because of the illiquidity of the hospitals. The brutality of the effects of this becomes particularly obvious considering the death of 60 children during 5 days at the university hospital of Gorakhpur last year. They died because the hospital lacked oxygen that was necessary for their treatment. The supplier of oxygen stopped providing it due to an unpaid debt (what the government of course tried to deny). This led to massive protests of the masses who realized that it depends on how much money you’ve got in your pockets if you are allowed to live or not. And Modi won’t and doesn’t want to change this fact with his reform. Even if the government would really provide health care for half a billion people, many central problems of the people won’t be solved. Millions of them would still have to travel long distances (sometimes several hundred kilometers) to the next hospital, especially in the rural areas. Also there only come 0,8 hospital beds to 1000 inhabitants, which in addition leads to a shortage of medical care. Moreover, it’s certainly no coincidence that wealthier, urban areas are resisting the implementation of “Modicare”, as health insurance for the bourgeoisie is much better (and more comprehensive) already since it excludes the broad masses.

There are two reasons why Modi has announced this reform this year. Obviously, he and his Hindu-Nationalist party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) want to win the upcoming elections in May 2019 and aim for a second period in office. This is the principal reason. Also this is a part of the campaign against the People’s War in India. The old state is demonstrating that “they care for everyone” and want to look like they would be able to solve the problems. They know about the contradictions their system comes with and feel the need to disguise these. That’s how bourgeois elections always work. Before the election they promise everything that sounds good. After the election they do what they want and only act in their interest and in the interests of the imperialist bourgeoisie that really rules the country. The people are forgotten again.

While Modi pretends to care for the people, the ones who actually care for the needs of the people and want to solve their problems are facing brutal repression of the old state. The leaders, militants and masses of the CPI (Maoist) are fought with all cruelty. The Indian people know that the old Indian state is carrying out a war against them, branding them as “terrorists”. They are imprisoned, tortured and massacred by the old state. They know that the only way to solve their problems can’t be approached through any bourgeois health care program. They know that the only way is People’s War and the defeat of imperialism.