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Quick ?: How many Americans leave to get healthcare outside the US? (Updated W/ Answer)

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ihavenobias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:29 PM
Original message
Quick ?: How many Americans leave to get healthcare outside the US? (Updated W/ Answer)
Edited on Mon Aug-03-09 02:45 PM by ihavenobias
On his 7/27 show, Thom Hartmann said (paraphrase) that almost a quarter of a million Americans went outside the US for healthcare last year and that estimates suggest that number could climb to 1 million this year.

I've tried various searches, but I can't find anything online about this claim. If anyone has a link or more information, please share it.

EDIT To Add: Thanks to sinkingfeeling for providing some great links to information we should all have handy the next time some right wing pundit (or neighbor, coworker, family member, etc.) claims that "we have the best healthcare in the world and the evidence is that no one leaves the US to get healthcare".

From Sinkingfeeling:

"...in 2005 the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons reported that as many 500,000 people sought care overseas.

The medical tourism industry is forecast to grow to 40 million trips and $40 billion by 2010, according to Tourism Research and Marketing..."


http://www.cmi-matamoros.com/news2.html

"Although up from 500,000 in 2006 to 750,000 in 2007, the number of Americans travelling
abroad for healthcare is tipped to increase to 6 million by 2010."

http://www.ipa.org.au/library/59-4_HANSEN.pdf

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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. 12.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. Lots. You see it in San Diego. Americans taking the shuttle bus into Tijuana for health and dental
care
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JDPriestly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
20. Costa Rica is one of the favorite health care destinations.
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
3. Half a million or so ... Edited with even more!
Edited on Mon Aug-03-09 02:36 PM by sinkingfeeling
http://www.cmi-matamoros.com/news2.html

Although up from 500,000 in 2006 to 750,000 in 2007, the number of Americans travelling
abroad for healthcare is tipped to increase to 6 million by 2010.

http://www.ipa.org.au/library/59-4_HANSEN.pdf

http://www.health-tourism.com/medical-tourism/statistic...
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ihavenobias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Thanks, this is what I was looking for.
Anecdotal evidence is easily dismissed so your link is great.

And to that point, right wing clowns aren't being challenged on television when they say "everyone comes to the US for care but no one leaves".

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aroach Donating Member (136 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
4. Can't even afford to do that.
Would if I could. I have a six year old that needs 5K worth of dental work. That might as well be a million dollars for us. I'm trying to save up to take him to Mexico to get it done.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. There are cheaper options
in places like Jamaica.
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aroach Donating Member (136 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. I may call on you to help me arrange that
Poor kid had three abscessed teeth. He was sick with fever, vomiting, etc. They gave him antibiotics and painkillers and told me they would fix his teeth when I could pay cash up front.
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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
5. Some come to Canada for
specialty treatments, and some go to Asia for transplants and genetic work.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
6. Tree fiddy
Seriously, though, Central America has been a "dental vacation" destination for a long time.
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:33 PM
Original message
I know that here in AZ, a lot of people go to Mexico...
for affordable meds, dentistry, surgery, etc.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
11. San Diego too.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
7. You see quite a few in Texas go to Mexico
for the pharmaceuticals as well as dental and medical.
Little border towns like Nuevo Progreso and Matamoros and Reynosa are filled with these little offices to meet that need.
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timeforpeace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
8. Unconventional/unapproved treatments, Canadian Rx drugs, etc. Ask Thom.
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:37 PM
Response to Original message
10. There are regular bus trips to canada for meds.
"The big silvery tour bus is easy to find in the Sandusky strip mall parking lot at this early hour. 42 people, most over 65, are gingerly making their way up the big buss wide steps. Their high spirits could come from the warmer temperatures of early spring, or maybe its just a coffee buzz, but they seem way too excited for this early hour.

Good morning! How are you? This is the prescription drug bus, right? Yeah, this is the drug run... (laughter)

The bus trip costs $25, but a Windsor, Ontario casino will give each passenger $15 Canadian cash back - so long as the bus stays at the casino for four hours. The slots will have to wait, though, until after a stop at a Canadian pharmacy, so passengers can purchase prescription drugs, the main reason most are making todays trip. "

http://www.wcpn.org/WCPN/news/6288
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
12. I used to... back when I had some money left.
My dentist was in Mexico (I live near the border). It's very common for the permanent residents and the many retirees here to go to Mexico for prescriptions, dentistry, and some medical procedures. It's about 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of similar services as US. I don't have a number for you, but it's in the thousands for my area.

Now I can't even afford that.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
14. Look at this
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_12/b407...
>>>snip
Getting covered employees to leave the U.S. won't be that hard, says Edelheit. An insurance company could waive all deductibles and co-pays, offer to cover travel costs for the patient and family members, even throw in a cash incentive, and still save tens of thousands of dollars. After all, a heart procedure that costs $100,000 in the U.S. runs only $10,000 to $20,000 at some of the best private hospitals in Asia. And the quality of care? Foreign hospitals in such arrangements are typically approved by Joint Commission International, part of the same nonprofit organization that accredits American hospitals.

Blue Cross took the lead in medical offshoring when its Companion Global Healthcare subsidiary formed its first partnership, with Bumrungrad Hospital, in February. Since then, Companion Global Healthcare has signed similar pacts with the Parkway Group Healthcare, owner of three hospitals in Singapore, and with hospitals in Turkey, Ireland, and Costa Rica. Three members of India's Apollo Hospitals Group are also joining the network. And another large Indian chain, Wockhardt Hospitals, is talking with U.S. insurers as well. "Americans haven't come to grips with having their heart surgery in Thailand," says Curtis Schroeder, the American CEO of Bumrungrad. "But that will change."

The shift is sure to leave some policyholders disgruntled, of course. Offering international coverage might make it easier for employers to limit benefits at home, for instance, by raising the deductibles on U.S.-based procedures. It's also extremely difficult for patients to sue for malpractice in most Asian countries. Bumrungrad has offices for marketing and promotion in 20 countries, but not the U.S.in part because having a U.S. office would open the door to potential liability, hospital officials say. So it will take a while for the trickle of insured U.S. patients in Asia to become a torrent. But over time, for policyholders and payers alike, the price may be hard to resist.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I remember reading this one.
JCI-approved health care plus a vacation to Costa Rica? Sign me up.
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ihavenobias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #14
28. Thanks.
Another good link.
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zbdent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
15. I would like to find it, but a member of the community
(actually, a well-respected business family member locally, thus would be "Republican", according to definitions by today's "liberal media")

went to China a few years back to get stem cell therapy to fight his illness ... and he was a very avid church member!
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
17. India has a system set up with HOTEL ARRANGEMENTS for
people to go there and have Specialty Surgery. One of
the TV Channels ran a story on this. People could get
the Medical care and stay in Hotel until fully recuperated.
This was still much more reasonable than in US. It featured
Americans getting their care there.
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Without all the pesky regulations
:)
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. I saw that report too.. The lady took her daughter too . She had a private room,
private nurse, free physical therapy, and rehab at a beautiful beach resort..

And her doctor was trained at Johns Hopkins (IIRC)..
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ihavenobias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Why aren't more Dems and progressive pundits pushing back on TV?
Edited on Mon Aug-03-09 03:01 PM by ihavenobias
Maybe they are and I'm missing it. All I know is that the right continually hammers the "everyone comes here for healthcare but no one leaves" talking point and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #17
26. Thailand does, too.
Edited on Mon Aug-03-09 03:14 PM by girl gone mad
You can stay in a luxury hotel with daily spa treatments while you're recovering from surgery. All for a fraction of what a hospital stay in America would cost. The doctors are supposedly top notch, trained in America.

A couple of my relatives cross in to Mexico every 3 months to get prescription drugs at a huge discount. Of course, they're right wing crazies who watch FOX and listen to RW talk radio all day. Health reform in America would be evil, but they're more than happy to take advantage of Mexico's socialized system. :eyes:
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:49 PM
Response to Original message
19. When I went to visit parents in Mexico, after dad broke hip
well we went to see ortho down there for follow up with him, and he took a look at my knees... long story of trouble.

Funny, he recommended physical therapy... here it would have taken MONTHS to see a specialist and therapy? You shit me right? Partly it is cultural... we want the EASY way out. So I do my PT every night now.

Did I mention little trouble any longer?

So go ahead, add me to the stats
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angstlessk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 02:58 PM
Response to Original message
22. My sister who lives in AZ went to Mexico to get a set of partials
she could NEVER have afforded it in the US.
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progressoid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
25. but but but...what about all those Canadians coming here to get their brain tumors removed!?!!11?
k/r
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MedfordTim Donating Member (254 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
27. Vacation AND get your teeth done!
Many people have found that by going to Latin America, they can spend as much on a vacation AND a doctor or dentist as they would on the medical treatment alone, here.

Another thing to hammer home, as the Right keeps asking "Why do Canadians come HERE?" The correct answer is, of course, that the Canadian government PAYS for the medical treatment received here. Then, there's this... A Canadian doctor diagnoses U.S. healthcare
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20score Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
29. K&R! Thanks!
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
30. I priced a hip replacement in India and it's tens of thousands of dollars less.
I'm sure the care is fine, but I can't imagine being on the other side of the world recovering from such a thing without the support of my family . . . not to mention the long trip back home after surgery. It's really crazy.
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Seldona Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
31. K&R
Six Million? Wow.
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
32. I'll probably go to Mexico before too long.
I live in Texas.

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pleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
33. K&R
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onestepforward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-03-09 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
34. My in-laws go to Mexico for dental care.
It is a lot more affordable for them there. I appreciate the stats. Thanks!
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-04-09 06:31 AM
Response to Original message
35. Health Care for All-WA sends people to Canada on a regular basis
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