Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Universal Health Care is Already Available for all Americans

The phrase universal healthcare has been tossed around in the news quite a bit in the past few months. A simple Google search turns up almost 13 million hits on the subject. And while the concept of making quality healthcare affordable seems like a far-off dream, it’s not exactly a long shot—we at MedTrava already providing it!

Yes, we’ve already made universal healthcare available. By enabling people to travel abroad for quality healthcare they can afford, we are truly embracing the full meaning of the phrase universal healthcare.

Because of issues with the healthcare systems in the U.S., the U.K., and Canada, hospitals around the world—from Mexico to Germany to India—are offering their lower-cost, quality healthcare services to foreign nationals. In this free market model, patients can choose from a multitude of doctors and locations to choose the option that most appeals to them, giving them greater freedom than their PPO network in the U.S. might allow.

We can already see the trickle down effects that the quality and affordability of medical tourism is having on the American healthcare marketplace. Already, a few American practices have popped up that have a business model that allows them to offer medical options at a cheaper rate than is standard among their American peers (although at this point it is still more expensive than the overseas option). I expect that as more Americans start going abroad for their medical treatment and receive comparable quality to the U.S., more American healthcare professionals will start to reshape their business models to allow for more price competition.

Greg Scandlen, director of Consumers for Health Care Choices at The Heartland Institute compares this phenomenon to the impact Volkswagen and Toyota had on the U.S. auto industry. “It’s showing another way of doing business that the automakers in the United States were just too indifferent to adopt, so competition had to come from somewhere. It came from overseas.” (Read the full article International Medical Tourism is on the Rise from the Heartland Institute.)

So next time you hear someone lamenting the state of the U.S. healthcare system, make sure to point out that medical tourism provides a valuable incentive to help the U.S. system improve on its own. And in the meantime, medical tourism makes it possible for almost any American to afford any surgery they need (or want). And yes, financing is available.