Originally Posted by bbbbmw
A couple of thoughts:
- the 1M people leaving CA and seeking treatment in Mexico could be mostly Mexican citizens returning home for care, because they don't have healthcare in the US. It could also be those same people (and perhaps others) going to Tijuana for pharmaceuticals.
- one HUGE reason healthcare is so expensive in the US is our legal system. Lawyers here can take a case on contingency (they get paid only if they win - if they lose, they have only lost their time), and there is no downside. In every other country, the loser in a court case pays everyone's court costs - which pretty much eliminates lawsuits that are questionable. It's called "English Rule."
The cost of lawsuits in healthcare (and malpractice insurance) shows up in our healthcare costs. The Trial Attorney's lobby is the one of the largest political contributors. Glad that we have a bunch of lawyers setting healthcare policy...
Both valid points. I think Mexican citizens going from Cali to Mexico are about half the overall figure. There will certainly be more from other states as well going to both Mexico and Canada, in addition to more exotic locales.
I have to say, I agree with you that the legal system is flawed here, and for exactly the reason you state: un/underemployed lawyers can sue anybody for anything without any fear of accountability for dishonesty. But special interests are what they are. If it were up to me, I'd not allow lawsuits for medical problems. If a doctor screws something up badly enough, s/he should lose their license to practice medicine, plain and simple. Not run to the golf course while their lawyer runs interference.
Is there any info on the broader effect that lawsuits are having on the system? For example, why would sue-happy states (cough, NY and Cali) cause MRIs to be so much more expensive than they are elsewhere (I'm not trying to be flippant; it's a genuine question)? To what extent are medical professionals gouging their patients? If an MRI can cost $500 in one hospital and $1800 in another within a given market, then to what extent we are outside the realm of a litigation problem?