Even insured Americans flock to Mexico for low-cost, high-quality health-care


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/02/market-failure.html


#2

The idiots stand out of course, but I do wonder what percentage overall are so appallingly ignorant?


#3

Canadians are going as well, usually for things not covered by gov’t health care, like cosmetic or dental work. They’re probably just as rude.


#4

One was surprised to see solid brick buildings.

Well, consider the portrayal of Mexico that ends up in American film and TV (orange filter, deserts, mud huts, drug cartel violence, etc.). Also consider that most Mexicans that leave the country are desperately poor.

There’s no excuse for being a jerk, but these misconceptions don’t evolve in a vacuum. Most people don’t know that there’s bustling metropolises, and lots of wealthy areas. Most people also don’t realize that the desperately poor tend to be indigenous, and the wealthy ones are European.


#5

Also, that every hispanic poor person in the United States doing agricultural, building, or cooking labor to send money home to their families is “Mexican”, regardless of where they come from…

(Seriously, people! There are dozens of really interesting countries in South America, Central America, and North America! Each with their own history, culture, and traditions. They are not all Mexico!)


#6

Same applies to many other countries that the US regime wants demonized. In return they get to film with real planes, tanks and ships.


#7

Hola mi Amigos & Amigas!


#8

It’s hard to tell if it’s the fact that the US Gov. wants Mexico demonized as part of a quid-pro-quo for film makers, or if film makers are just lazy and Mexico is just the most convenient foil. (Or what mix of the two it is)


#9

For a couple of hundred dollars you could get a round trip to Mexico City and experience what is in many part of it, just like going to Europe (especially, and obviously, Spain). I’ve been twice and had an amazing time in what is a very multicultural city.


#10

I’m a dental assistant in Washington state and people do this all the time. For some work it’s cheaper to fly from her to Mexico. A lot of people will also do this if they are immigrants, especially with The Philippines or from Eastern European countries. They’ll ask for copies of their x-rays even.


#11

They should build some sort of wall to keep people out.


#12

I get annoyed with the Mexican restaurants that are decked out like a Mexican slum from decades ago. These restaurants are perpetuating an image of mexico as a backwards country. It is insulting to Mexico.


#13

Funny. This is the only sentence in the whole post that tries to address the cause, and it’s so vague and sloppy it’s useless. Click through the article itself and 4 out of 5 bullet points is naval gazing about our own condescending/racist attitudes, and little info about the economics. An actually useful and interesting angle to look at this is: why is medical care cheaper there than here (given the enormously complex factors involved, I’m not going to swallow that it’s all greedy insurance companies), and if care is equivalent enough that people are happy with it, what exactly are we getting for our trouble, and what lessons could we learn?

If the point is “things are so bad here that people are going to Mexico, and finding out it’s fine”, it would make sense to actually compare the US and Mexico.


#14

If you think medical care quality in Mexico is so bad, why would you go there? I’m confused by these people.


#15

When I lived in Hollywood I saw my neighbor packing her car for a small trip. Turned out she was driving to Tijuana to see a dentist.


#16

Yeah, and PS, health insurance doesn’t pay the cost of health care in this country. Why isn’t everyone in the US going nuts over this? This is what’s so important here.


#17

I had a strong negative reaction to labeling these ‘fear of the unknown’ questions as racist. Feels a bit racist to stereotype whites in this way just because they have the same trust but verify mentality that I do. I have been known to ask similar questions of new healthcare providers in the USA just to put my mind at ease.

It makes me question how much of my fear of the unknown is racist. And whether someone has to engage with everything unknown to get past racism.

Having flown over Mexico City at low altitude several times I did have the expectation that dentists would not have the same level of facilities that we expect here in the USA. So I opened up yelp and looked up dentists in Mexico City. I was genuinely surprised at how the pictures showed facilities similar to what I expect here in the USA. Am I a racist? Good question.


#18

Becoming a dentist or doctor in Latin America is very expensive, and usually only upper class people have the means to enter (and graduate) such schools. This means they also want to keep the same living standards, which should also translate into high cost.

Exchange rates help offset such costs, but there is something deeper in the Latin American society in general that makes things look cheaper. Tax distribution in L.A. is usually absurd, with upper class people paying an inversely disproportionate amount (never mind the tax evasion that doctors and dentists practice, which is not news for US and CA citizens).

A doctor in L.A. can charge low international prices and still make a good living, as long as “good” doesn’t include public benefits, like good roads and security to enjoy the beauties of the land. This ‘public’ part is not priced on their rates, and that makes the difference.

A US/CA professional embeds indirect costs of the community: a higher average education of general population, better public services, a functioning police force, accessible judicial system.

And before anyone says US/CA have terrible public services, police, and courts, you can’t compare to what you have in L.A.

So yes: doctors and dentists are cheaper in L.A. because no one is paying for 50% of the necessary public infrastructure.

btw, I am not saying the US prices are not skewed, specially when you start paying for extra useless infrastructure, like clinics operating in small palaces. This only makes the price difference that more evident

[edited with the btw]


#19

Because we can’t afford the premiums a psychiatric visit would entail.


#20

Didn’t it occur to you that there would be expensive (by Mexican standards) dentists catering to wealthier patients, with the same facilities that a US dentist would have?