As the Gringos are grappling with the boondoggle that is ObamaCare, seeing their premiums soar, their doctors retire early, their copayments double and that dumb website, I thought it would be nice to tell you a little tale of MexiCare. Yet again.

MexiCare is the Mexican health system, of course, something the Gringos should have simply duplicated. We have free to very inexpensive government care for the poor, and a reasonably priced private system for anyone wishing to use it. Neither system is obligatory.

healthcareHealth insurance is not only up to you, but medical prices, even in the private system, are affordable out of pocket for those with a middle-class income. No insurance required.

Here’s my tale. Read it and weep:

My bud Steve Cotton, who rents a Mexican beach house all year and visits now and then, recently had a medical issue, a heart problem. So he got an electrocardiogram, which revealed something troubling.

This led me to remember that my previous EKG was eight years ago. I have had a long-term, low-risk heart quirk for decades, so I scheduled an EKG just like Steve.

I drove Wednesday to a new, modern clinic here in town. The receptionist made an appointment for yesterday at 12:30 with an internist and his EKG machine. That is correct. It was not necessary to make the appointment a month in advance.

And it was with an actual doctor, not a med tech.

My child bride and I arrived at the appointed hour and were immediately shown to the doctor’s beautifully appointed office, not into a cubbyhole. Snazzy offices, leather sofas in the lobby and no waits are common in the private healthcare system.

We talked a bit. Then I reclined on his table, and the equipment was connected. I was measured. The results were read. All is normal. The charge for the test and the doctor visit was 300 pesos, which is about 24 American dollars this week.

MexiCare beats the bejezus out of ObamaCare (but what wouldn’t?) and it beats Canada’s socialized healthcare too. We do it right.

27 thoughts on “MexiCare

  1. And you did this without anyone pointing a gun to your head. Just like I drop by twice a year to a local lab to get basic tests done, just for my own information at a cost of about 20 bucks.

    What I find offensive is that NOB, they not only hold a gun to your head and tax you, fine you, generally make your life miserable, all while you are trying to sign up for insurance that you may not want. If you don’t, then the IRS will make your life miserable like they already do.

    Oh, by the way, did you see that Obozo apologized for telling people they could keep their present health insurance if they wanted to?

    Seems that his buddy Democrats figured out that he was lying from day one on that, but nobody wanted to shatter his utopian beliefs.

    So, screwed up. Too bad someone didn’t knock some sense into that boy when he was just a infant in Kenya, Hawaii or wherever.


    1. Tancho: Yes, he finally apologized. Doesn’t change the mess he made, of course, nor will he attempt to do so.

      Did you call Obama a boy?!

      He was not an infant in Kenya. He did spend most of his first 10 years in Indonesia, however.


    2. I wish we had the same system as in Mexico, but we don’t. Obamacare is better than the unregulated purely for-profit system it replaces. If you think back, the window of opportunity to get even this was brief, and the pressure from the insurance lobby and the right wing was great. The right wanted to tear it down and go back to the old way. They never offered an alternative. This is the best we could do. We’ll built it from here. Comparing the Mexican socialist medical system to ours isn’t fair. Comparing it to Medicare would be more accurate.


      1. John: The previous U.S. system was severely flawed. Everybody knows that. ObamaCare will be as bad or worse, but in different ways. That is my prediction, and early reports lean completely my way.

        The GOP, as I recall, did not effectively present an alternative to what Barry has done. You are correct. Pity.

        The Mexican system is not socialist. The government provides a fall-back healthcare service for the poor, and it sits side by side with an excellent, reasonably priced, private system. None of it is obligatory. You go where you want.

        I attribute the reasonable prices of the Mexican private system to the culture. Lawyers do not seem to play much of a role, and Mexicans know that crap happens in life and you accept it, so doctors are not forced to purchase staggeringly expensive malpractice insurance, the costs of which they pass on to their patients. And HMOs are not common here either.

        Of course, comparing our excellent system with the U.S. mess is not fair. We won hands-down before ObamaCare. We win hands-down now, and we will win hands-down when this entire ObamaCare monstrosity finds some sort of legs, which it well may not. Let us pray.


        1. “I attribute the reasonable prices of the Mexican private system to the culture. Lawyers do not seem to play much of a role, and Mexicans know that crap happens in life and you accept it…”

          You’ve nailed it. Many (maybe most) in the U.S. now believe that the government exists to take care of every aspect of their lives — to protect them from everything bad and provide them with everything good.

          Some of us believe we can do better for ourselves.


  2. Everything about Obamacare is a fraud, including the name: Affordable Care Act. If there was truth in advertising, Obama’s party would be known as the Kleptocrats and our current form of government would be known as a Kleptocracy.

    A kleptocracy a form of political and government corruption where the government exists to increase the personal wealth and political power of its officials and the ruling class at the expense of the wider population, often with pretense of honest and affordable service.


    1. Andres: I read yesterday that Barry has quit using the term ObamaCare when he refers to ObamaCare, and he did before. He said he was proud of that name during the campaign debates with Romney. Seems Barry’s now growing a bit uncomfortable having his name attached to the thing as it continues its sloppy, pricy rollout.


  3. Like you, I have nothing but good to say about Mexican medical care. My EKG — and the ensuing medical treatment until my triglycerides are tamed — will cost me the same 300 pesos you forked over for your test. It is a great system.

    By the way, I went back to my doctor today with a followup test. She expected (after two days of medication) that my triglyceride count would drop by 200. It dropped by 2. I suspect we are going to see the same disappointing results in reduced medical costs under Obamacare. But I am not there to see it. Fortunately.


    1. Steve: That is not, as you well know, good news on your health front. A frontal assault on the problem is called for. No more cheese!

      As for ObamaCare, I am not convinced that you, like me apparently, are home free. Being exempted by not living in the United States might not apply to those who maintain addresses up there, and I think you do.


  4. I had surgery this morning for a rapidly growing skin cancer on the back of my right hand. It was deep and quite nasty looking. My total cost for the surgery was 1200 pesos or $92 USD. I shudder to think what the cost would be in the USA.

    Mexican health care is really affordable health care.


    1. Andres: Just another indication that we don’t need to pay huge premiums down here to keep health insurance. Pay out of pocket like the Goddess intended. If only Uncle Sam had copied us.


  5. The dark side of Mexican healthcare is that if you don’t have the dough, you don’t get the treatment. And IMSS doesn’t cover “self-inflicted” injuries, which I take to mean things like sporting accidents, etc. And just walking around Mexico, you see plenty of people who didn’t get some needed treatment or other and are permanently scarred/disabled as a result.

    As for the ACA, sure it’s flawed, and it’s flawed well beyond the website which will be fixed soon enough. However, the system we have in MA works pretty well, and if the ACA works like our system, it should be material progress for the USA.

    However, I would say that the Republicans have hardly covered themselves in glory with their response. All they said was, “NO! This will make the world end!!!” They would have done MUCH, MUCH better to have provided a more free-market alternative, including the sale of insurance across state borders, killing off the whole malpractice racket, requiring the drug companies to give the US government the same prices they give to organizations like the British National Health Service, and to have provided some sensible rationing of healthcare so that we aren’t spending millions to extend the lives of octogenarians by a mere three months. They could have combined that with universal access by requiring insurance companies to take everyone, but only in proportion to their market share. So this means that everyone would be insurable, but no insurance company would be unduly burdened with an unfair share of patients with preexisting conditions. I’m thinking of something like an assigned risk pool, basically doing what insurance is supposed to do in spreading risk. We also could have reformed the whole ridiculous prescription system where you need to keep getting a doctor’s review to get prescriptions renewed. Midlevel practitioners also need a much larger role in the system.

    No, there’s no shortage of necessary reforms, but I don’t recall the Republicans putting a single one of them into competing legislation. Further, from a simple obstructionist point of view, they’d probably have achieved more (in terms of stopping ACA) by clouding the waters with lots of alternative proposals. But because all they could think of was “no,” we have the ACA.

    So I don’t think they are exactly blame-free in this whole matter.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we are thrilled to be able to buy health insurance without having to work for “the man.”


    1. Kim: You do get the treatment if you do not have the dough. There are various government healthcare programs. My wife and I recently enrolled in one (at her insistence) called Seguro Popular. It’s free, although the treatment would be done in a rather humble facility here in town, so I would pay to go to a major hospital in the nearby state capital on our own dime. But for those who have no or fewer resources than we do, and that is whom the program is designed for, it works.

      IMSS is just one of the various options, one of the bigger ones. Where you heard the self-inflicted restriction, I have no idea. I have never heard anything of the sort, and I doubt it is so. I do not doubt that you heard it, but I do doubt that it is so. Nutty rumors abound in Mexico.

      Yes, one sees lots of people with physical problems here. Some, probably most, are due to the culture, lack of information, you name it. The actual care is available, and improves yearly. Often, unfortunately, medicines are less available and they can be pricey. Lots of generic chains reduce that problem somewhat.

      I’m not sure ObamaCare will function as well as the Massachusetts system. The question of scale will come into play. Time will tell.

      And no, the GOP response to this, and other matters too, leave much to be desired. The solutions you cite in the third paragraph of your comment are excellent. Should have gone down that road.

      Of course, the GOP is not blame-free. Both parties, the entire government failed, which brings to mind the old saw that a nation gets the government it deserves. I see that bright and clear these days in the United States. Pathetic.


      1. Thanks for the kind reply. Seguro Social is a rather recent development, and probably for the good. But you have to have signed up before something happens, and it’s pretty clear that lots of Mexicans (at least in the past) didn’t get care they needed, in a way that hasn’t happened in the USA in a long time.

        As for the restrictions on self-inflicted injuries, I read about that on the IMSS website a few years ago. We were looking at getting F’s mother onto IMSS, so I spent some time reading up on it and what it would and wouldn’t cover. Perhaps that has changed, but at the time, there was no coverage for self-inflicted injuries. So it’s not some kind of rumor.

        By the way, it’s not too late for the Republicans to make some positive changes to ACA.But they remain focused on the politically impossible task of completely undoing it. I really think they could do both the country and their own party a big service by working to improve the ACA. Even for sheer political expediency, they’d do well to put forth a positive agenda rather than remaining the party of “no.”

        But I fear (despite McConnell’s assurances) that in January and February, we are going to re-live the stupidity of the shutdown once again.


        1. Kim: Sure, you have to sign up before something happens. In the U.S. you have to sign up before something happens too.

          Lots of things happened here in the past, and some still happen, but we are improving significantly every day. The positive changes that have occurred in the almost 14 years I’ve lived here in many aspects of life are incredible. However, lots of Mexicans have not kept up. That’s the cultural problem I referred to. Ignorance, sadly, abounds here, plus boozing, negative attitudes, pessimism, lots of stuff.

          Interesting about that self-inflicted injuries policy. I wonder how they interpreted that. Attempted suicide? Skateboarding? Many things in between. Okay, not only do rumors about, so does nuttiness.

          I do not agree that the GOP is the party of no, but that is what gets heard frequently. The fact that the news media, which are primarily left-wing and Obama fans, to a great degree create perceived reality, results in many agreeing with you.

          Paul Ryan, for one, has lots of positive ideas. And there are more.


        2. Thinking further on it, I would bet that self-inflicted thing refers solely to suicide attempts. It’s amazing how the Vatican imposes itself into many areas here. We do not have nearly the separation of church and state in Mexico that you have above the Rio Bravo.


      1. Interesting article. Someday when I have more time, I’ll look through those ideas more closely. But my initial comment is this. The Republicans have not always been the party of “no.” But they have become increasingly so since 2008. While I could be mistaken, I don’t recall seeing them trot out a lot of those ideas when it came time to craft Obamacare.


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