As the health care reform debate rages on, a common refrain from conservatives is “We have the best health care in the world” and that people come around the globe seeking medical care in the United States.
This is most likely for certain procedures, due to our high quality of medical technology and doctors. However our health delivery system as crafted by the insurance companies remains low quality. And for those who come from Foreign countries to seek an operation in the United States, TPM reports that the staggering cost of medical care in the United States is forcing some to seek medical care in other countries such as 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.
“The very wealthy can afford whatever they want, the very poor get it through aid, but the working and the middle-class have to struggle to pay insurance,” said Ritz, who worked as a police officer in Chicago for 28 years.