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Elephant in the Room - Americans going to Mexico for healthcare

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posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 01:16 PM
After reading all the back and forth about the US healthcare proposal and hearing over and over how health care in the US is so much better than the Canadian system because some Canadians head south for healthcare, I'm left wondering one thing....

How come nobody mentions the fact that at least one hundred thousand Americans go to Mexico or other countries for affordable care every year? Medical tourism is big, so big that several California employers send their employees to different countries for treatment.

If the US system is so great, how come people are leaving the country for health care? If it's an example of choice, that it's something our two systems have in common and a red herring in the health care argument.

[edit on 16-8-2009 by Duzey]

posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 01:27 PM
reply to post by Duzey

I read a couple of days ago, that an estimated 1 million Californians head to Mexico for either health, dental or prescription renewal trips, as it's just not worth the fuss or cost of going through their insurance companies.

That can't be a sign of an efficient system.

Will try and find the source.

[edit on 16-8-2009 by kiwifoot]

posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 01:42 PM
They're not just fleeing to Mexico for treatment ....

This weekend thousands are lining up for treatment at a sports stadium in Inglewood, California ...

In America, the offer of free healthcare is so rare, that news of the magical medical kingdom spread rapidly and long lines of prospective patients snaked around the venue for the chance of getting everyday treatments that many British people take for granted.

In the first two days, more than 1,500 men, women and children received free treatments worth $503,000 (£304,000). Thirty dentists pulled 471 teeth; 320 people were given standard issue spectacles; 80 had mammograms; dozens more had acupuncture, or saw kidney specialists. By the time the makeshift medical centre leaves town on Tuesday, staff expect to have dispensed $2m worth of treatments to 10,000 patients.

The Independent (UK)

Women lining up for mammograms in a sports hall ???

That's obscene.

I'd love for this thread to throw up some practical solutions for the healthcare crisis in the USA, rather than revert to the left/right rhetoric which so many threads have degenerated to.

What's to be done about those who can't afford insurance ... and who are too "rich" for Medicare ... how to help the working poor ?

posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 02:10 PM
Canadians head to the US to get health care faster for life saving procedures.

Americans head other places to get basic care to save money.

What is needed is a combined system that gives short weights with basic care for all.

posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 02:23 PM
Giving a public option would give us a combined system (and hopefully drive costs down).

Private insurance is great and most companies will keep it anyway as an added benefit.

It will take the burden off small businesses.

Say for example if you'd like back surgery that has a 60% chance of working. You're better off going with private or self-pay and you can receive it immediately.

Nobody should go without preventative care.
Nobody should have to line up in a sports arena for a mammogram.
No child should go without antibiotics.

posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 02:24 PM
I live in Mexico and It's true many Americans come here for health care. The dentist I go to speaks excellent English, did his residency in Houston and charges less than half of what you would pay in the states. Many of the doctors here were schooled in the states and our big new hospitals don't cost a fraction of what you would pay to stay at them. Why not come to Mexico for health care?

If anyone needs help hooking up with medical professional here, U2U me I'd be happy to help. Excellent cosmetic surgeons also.

posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 02:52 PM
reply to post by exile1981

Most patients who travel to the US from Canada are looking for faster access to care on things that aren't life threatening and have a wait list up here. The rest are going to the US's world class facilities with the cutting edge cancer treatments. I doubt an American who requires a spinal fusion or hip replacement considers that basic care and Wellpoint's offsourcing those to India.


Actually, it all works out rather nicely. The poor and middle class can travel to Mexico or Canada for their treatment and the wealthy Mexicans and Canadians can go to the US for the advanced, cutting-edge stuff.


I've come to a new conclusion. There is nothing wrong with the healthcare system in the US from a Canadian and Mexican perspective. It keeps the wealthy people from clogging ours up.

[edit on 16-8-2009 by Duzey]

posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 03:06 PM
reply to post by kiwifoot

I think I found the article you mentioned.

As U.S. health row rages, many seek care in Mexico

With Washington bickering over how to reform the system and contain its spiraling costs, many Americans like Ritz simply head to Mexico to get care they can afford.

The total number making the trip is unclear. But a recent study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research estimated that nearly 1 million people from California alone seek medical, dental or prescription services in Mexico each year.

Some making the trek have little or no medical coverage. Others like Ritz are on fixed incomes and want to avoid so-called co-pays and deductibles charged by U.S. insurers on top of policies that routinely cost from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand each month.

It's an interesting dynamic. Is Mexico actually a part of the American healthcare system?

In Canada, the vast majority of our population lives within 150km of the US, which makes it very easy for someone to cross the border and seek treatment. If Americans were more heavily concentrated on the US-Mexico border, would these numbers soar?

posted on Aug, 16 2009 @ 08:09 PM
reply to post by Duzey

Thanks for finding that mate.

I onder how much those million people are spending?

I'm trying not to get too ivolve in this debate, being UK based and not really qualified to comment.

But clearly something has to give. I just hope it doesn't pull the US apart.

Good topic. S+F!

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