Touted as the world’s largest health insurance scheme, the Indian government’s Ayushman Bharat programme was never going to be easy to implement. The team tasked with its roll out knew this when it was first announced in February 2018. How would the Centre convince states, especially those which already had similar schemes in place, to come on board? After all, why should a state that is already successfully running a health insurance scheme adopt the Centre’s more elaborate version?
The Centre’s answer to this was simple. Flexibility. It gave states the option of deciding how to execute the programme.