Interesting article today . . . . Globalization comes to the medical world.
The American Medical Association is literally having a heart attack because it appears that a growing number of Americans have decided to bypass American medical facilities for things like face lifts, heart valve, and hip replacements and are going overseas to countries like India or Thailand where the same procedures are 1/4th or 1/2 the cost.
Because it costs too much freaking money, that's why.
For example, a hip replacement would cost about $40K in America. The same operation would cost 11K in India. For that amount, it covers the air fare, the medical procedure itself AND on top of that, the patient gets to recuperate in a resort for two weeks and gets to live like a king. I could go on with other comparisons but I think you get the point.
What I'm happy about is that globalization seems to coming to haunt one American institution that looked like it was untouchable. Everybody agrees that American medical care is the best in the world.
Gee, too bad it costs too much to have.
For years, everybody had to pay up for visits, procedures, and surgeries. With businesses making employees pay more for their health care AND with those plans covering so much of the total bill, its no wonder that Americans are looking at alternatives.
We saw a glimmer of this a few years ago with prescription drugs. Americans were going to Canada to get their drugs because they cost too much in America. Of course, the FDA tried to scare the "bejesus" out of folks stating that "they (FDA) could not be responsible if Americans got sick or died from buying drugs in Canada. To my knowledge, I haven't heard of any Americans dying from buying drugs in Canada.
For example, my dentist (whose name shall remain anonymous), gets $35 for a 5 minute exam of my teeth. My health insurance covers the cost of that exam but $35 for 5 minutes? C'mon.
This is where market forces and gloabilization come in. I think if Mexico and Canada were really smart, they would push their low costs medical services to Americans in a huge way.
Let's face it, we're never going to have a nationalized health system in America in my lifetime. More importantly, companies are going to make Americans foot more of the their bills. Given that, if Congress won't act to rein medical costs, let the market forces do it. Its the American way, right?