Can Medical Tourism Save America From Obamacare?

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Reason has short but fascinating video about the global rise of medical tourism. There may be no greater indictment of the rise of government-managed health care on the global stage than the fact that, along with it, the medical tourism industry has grown exponentially along with it. Government health care is so great that people all over the world are forced to flee their home countries to these enclaves of free-market health care to get the treatments and procedures they need.

And now that the United States is firmly on the path of Obamacare, the medical tourism industry is preparing itself for an influx of American medical tourists:

I have no problem with free trade health care. I’m happy these capitalists are ready to provide services to people who need them. I hate, though, that it’s happening because we’re moving ever further away from free market health care here in America.

It’s worth noting that America has long been a medical tourism destination for Canadians and others. Most of the hospitals located near our northern border do a good trade in catering to Canadians seeking care they can’t get in their own country. But America may not be as effective a relief valve for Canadian health care any more, and Americans will soon be looking for a relief valve of their own.

Do we need any more clear evidence of the fact that Obamacare is going to make things worse?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • SigFan

    I’ve read a couple articles on this in the last few months and they reached the conclusion that for many things you can go to places like Costa Rica and India and others and get very good care (comparable to the US in most cases) at a much lower cost. That trend looks to be rising – and that shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    • awfulorv

      Of course there are necessary documents such as passports, and visas which, when viewed as circumventing Obama care, may be refused the applicant, to be considered. Of course we know this “Fair Minded” administration would never resort to such measures, don’t we.

      • slackwarerobert

        What, are you implying obama will finally seal the border?

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      What’s kind of amazing, too, is that they’re coupling the medical trips with family vacation trips. So you can get a whole package, to go there and get the care you need and some R&R.

      • SigFan

        Yeah, I saw one chart comparing the prices of a common surgical procedure here and in India. The price differential would be enough to take the entire clan along – or feed them for the better part of a year.

  • awfulorv

    Doesn’t It follow then that, in a few years, under ObamaCare, our taxpayers will be paying the health costs of those most obese, and Diabetic among us? As well as those most likely to have problems caused by smoking, and drinking, those most likely to be the victims of shootings, and assaults? While doing this, at exorbitant costs, they’ll also need to take care of their own families health needs, at extra cost. Such are more of the hidden costs of success, during these times and, retroactively, the cotton industry, during an earlier period. Don’t tell me all political parties are alike, or that elections don’t have consequences.

    • slackwarerobert

      Zero, the money will be used to support the tyrants. There would be nothing left after that. We will be north korea, without the left to bail us out.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    I predicted this almost four years ago. Free market economics isn’t going to go away just because our present leader is anti-business and a closet commie.

  • The Fighting Czech

    This was in the makings long before Obama care. In fact if these kinds of world wide medical institutions had sprung up 20 years ago, Obama care would have never seen the light of day.

    Insurance company and pharmaceutical lobbyists abuse of the medical industry, with the full co-operation of their bought and paid for politicians, are what brought things to be what they are now.

    My only question now is, how does one get their doctor to visit these overseas medical facilities, to provide the proper insight as to which one would be the best for the individual’s needs?

    • awfulorv

      It’s unlikely Doctors can be induced to visit their competition. The patient must have enough gumption to seek care outside of our borders. And, with the advent of this thing called the internet, that’s not difficult. Much like thousands of “Snow Birds” travel to Dental centers today, at Algodones, on the Mexican border, for inexpensive, yet totally professional, dental care.

      • The Fighting Czech

        well I hope your wrong. I would hope some doctors out there will realize that if a patient cant get timely affordable care here at home, he would steer them towards a facility overseas that has performed well… as far as the internet goes, Just how much can you trust the information coming from it? its about as trustworthy as a politicians election platform… IF you cant separate the BS from the Truth, You either pick out the parts you want to be truth, or else you just have to call it all BS. and disregard the whole thing.

        • awfulorv

          Well all right then. But, if I send you to another Doctor overseas, and he botches your operation, and you die, I don’t want that bitchy wife of yours, and your greedy kids, thinking they can sue the shit out of me. Agreed?

          • The Fighting Czech

            Well, where would be the plus side If instead you send me to some doctor in Fargo, and he screws up my operation and I die?

            Please leave my wife ( who you obviously do not know) out of this. There are plenty of people on this site who love to degrade, and insult each other, I prefer not to be one of those. (with the possible exception of pointing out when Rob pops out a little hypocrisy once in a while.

            I personally agree about your point on suing people. But together we are only 2 in a world of billions.

  • awfulorv

    Isn’t it ironic that doctors and entrepreneurs throughout the world, having seen the advantages of the free market system this country has displayed during it’s existence, are saying, ” Hell yes, I want to be part of something like that”. All the while our ” You didn’t build that” President, and his cadre of secretive Czars, who were ushered into their positions by a see, hear, and write no evil media, are Hell bent on saddling our free enterprise system with interminable regulations, rules, and penalties, which serve, primarily, to advance the prospects of the least productive among us. Maybe, just maybe, this country is strong enough to survive till this gang of know nothing Yahoos are sent packing.

  • awfulorv

    Forgive me, but I’m unsure what the above appellation “reactions”, is meant to convey? Are we to suppose that a particularly biting, or trenchant, comment will, or has caused, someone to jump off a building, a viaduct, or down a mine shaft, and that reaction is being recorded somewhere? If so this would explain, and one can only hope it is so, the disappearance from this blog of particularly tiresome, insane even, bloggers such as Dion, and others, whose names escape me at the moment. But, if this is the case, where are these incidents being recorded? And how are we to know if we might not be the one responsible for ridding the internet of these loathsome pests? And, most importantly, are there rewards due those bloggers whose clever quips, or simple common sense, have caused these vermin to Swan dive into the concrete, or the abyss?

  • chris

    Medical tourism is when people from the US who cannot afford the high prices of medicine go to other places where it’s cheaper, like Canada or Costa Rica. However the cheaper places usually have a socialized system. My guess is that as more people get medical insurance through Obamacare medical tourism will actually go down.

    • The Fighting Czech

      Canada???? did you watch the video clip, Canadians are already flying off to other countries for health services.
      I have a relative who used to work for US customs here in ND, they are always getting Canadians crossing the border INTO the US for Medical care.

  • Marty from North Dakota

    Check this from “60 Minutes”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSNsnKLUCdg

  • slackwarerobert

    So what are the chances these medical flights can be diverted here from the other third world countries?

  • slackwarerobert

    Guess we will have to remove travel restrictions to cuba. Then not only can we get affordable health care, we can visit gitmo and laugh at the terrorists, maybe even through feces at them.

  • http://genelalor.com Gene Lalor

    Least Surprising News of the Week: Obamacare, Menendez,
    Skeet

    Most people realize Barack Hussein Obama’s mainstream media
    spoon-feeds the public all the news they want us to know but sometimes even the
    mainstreamers can’t hide all the truth all the time.

    Three Recent Cases in Point:

    –A GLITCH IN OBAMACARE. Why there would or could be any glitches in
    the almost three year old, gazillion-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care
    Act (PPACA) which Democrats rammed through Congress and about which former
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi infamously and stupidly said, “But we have to
    pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it” is a shocker. Most
    Americans understood that the PPACA wouldn’t confer any real
    “protection.”

    Now it turns out the bill that no one bothered to notice is not
    “affordable” either: “Some families that can’t afford the employer coverage that
    they are offered on the job will not be able to get financial assistance from
    the government to buy private health insurance on their own.” In other words,
    that unidentified number of families are SOL.

    (Read the details here http://tinyurl.com/bxovd5n.)

    Wait until millions of other families and individuals discover they
    have to pay 20 new or higher taxes, that they really won’t be able to keep their
    current doctors, that their Medicare premiums have soared, that there will be
    health care rationing, that illegal aliens will be covered and, at the end of
    their lives, Yes, Virginia, there are indeed death panels although they will be
    called “Patient-Centered Outcomes” consisting of “boards” not “panels” which
    will make judgment calls on whether we live or die.

    (The Democrat congress exempted itself from Obamacare for some
    undisclosed reason.)

    –SEN. BOB MENENDEZ . In December, the already ethically-challenged
    Senator Robert (Bob) Menendez (D, NJ) fended off charges that his office allowed
    an unpaid intern to continue volunteering even though his visitor visa had
    expired and he was long known as a registered sex offender. According to the AP,
    the DHS very conveniently ordered federal agents not to arrest 18-year-old Luis
    Abrahan Sanchez Zavaletahim until after Election Day.

    Menendez denied everything.

    Last week, it was revealed that Menendez was under FBI investigation
    for participation in parties with teen-age hookers in the Dominican Republic
    over the course of approximately three trips with campaign donor,
    wealthy ophthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen. We have to say “approximately three
    trips” because Menendez has refused to release his travel schedule or travel
    records.

    HumanEvents.com reporter Matthew Boyle first broke the story of
    sleazy Menendez’ “alleged” shenanigans in the DR and spoke with two underage
    prostitutes . . .

    Three Recent Cases in Point:

    –A GLITCH IN OBAMACARE. Why there would or could be any glitches in
    the almost three year old, gazillion-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care
    Act (PPACA) which Democrats rammed through Congress and about which former
    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi infamously and stupidly said, “But we have to
    pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it” is a shocker. Most
    Americans understood that the PPACA wouldn’t confer any real
    “protection.”

    Now it turns out the bill that no one bothered to notice is not
    “affordable” either: “Some families that can’t afford the employer coverage that
    they are offered on the job will not be able to get financial assistance from
    the government to buy private health insurance on their own.” In other words,
    that unidentified number of families are SOL.

    (Read the details here http://tinyurl.com/bxovd5n.)

    Wait until millions of other families and individuals discover they
    have to pay 20 new or higher taxes, that they really won’t be able to keep their
    current doctors, that their Medicare premiums have soared, that there will be
    health care rationing, that illegal aliens will be covered and, at the end of
    their lives, Yes, Virginia, there are indeed death panels although they will be
    called “Patient-Centered Outcomes” consisting of “boards” not “panels” which
    will make judgment calls on whether we live or die.

    (The Democrat congress exempted itself from Obamacare for some
    undisclosed reason.)

    –SEN. BOB MENENDEZ . In December, the already ethically-challenged
    Senator Robert (Bob) Menendez (D, NJ) fended off charges that his office allowed
    an unpaid intern to continue volunteering even though his visitor visa had
    expired and he was long known as a registered sex offender. According to the AP,
    the DHS very conveniently ordered federal agents not to arrest 18-year-old Luis
    Abrahan Sanchez Zavaletahim until after Election Day.

    Menendez denied everything.

    Last week, it was revealed that Menendez was under FBI investigation
    for participation in parties with teen-age hookers in the Dominican Republic
    over the course of approximately three trips with campaign donor,
    wealthy ophthalmologist Dr. Salomon Melgen. We have to say “approximately three
    trips” because Menendez has refused to release his travel schedule or travel
    records.

    HumanEvents.com reporter Matthew Boyle first broke the story of
    sleazy Menendez’ “alleged” shenanigans in the DR and spoke with two underage
    prostitutes . . .

    (Read more at http://www.genelalor.com/blog1/?p=29846.)

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