Repealing Obamacare good for Mexico?

Many Americans who lose coverage expected to turn to Mexico for treatment

That a Donald Trump policy stands to benefit Mexico may sound like fake news but it probably isn’t.


If the United States president’s goal of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — better known as Obamacare — becomes law, it is estimated that approximately 24 million Americans will be left without health care coverage by 2026.

According to some Mexican tourism organizations, many will look south for medical treatment.

The Mexican Travel Agency Association (AMAV), the Mexican Hotel and Motel Association (AMHM) and the Mexican Council for the Medical Tourism Industry (CMITM) all agree that the situation represents a significant opportunity.

They believe that Mexico will be the first choice for those left uncovered and that a third of them will seek medical attention in this country, attracted by lower costs and geographical proximity.

Rafael García, the president of the AMHM, indicated that there is already sufficient infrastructure and the required specialists to absorb 30% of those left uninsured into the Mexican system. That translates into 7.2 million patients.

CMITM president Carlos Arceo says that the main services sought by foreigners are dental procedures, bariatric, plastic and orthopedic surgeries, IVF treatment and stem cell transplants, and claims that all can be carried out in Mexico to the same standard as the United States or Canada but at a price that is 40 to 60% cheaper.


He believes that Tijuana and Mexicali in Baja California, Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo in Tamaulipas, Ciudad Juárez in Chihuahua and Nogales in Sonora are well placed to attend to medical tourists from the U.S. because they already have developed medical tourism infrastructure.

However, other destinations farther from the border, including Los Cabos, Cancún, and Puerto Vallarta, could also benefit.

Medical tourists spend US $3,000 to $60,000 per trip, which means they should be considered part of the luxury market, Arceo says.

AMAV president Julio Castañeda argues that the industry is currently underexploited and to ensure that its potential is reached there is a need to develop more medical tourism packages and further promote the industry in the United States.

By working with hospitals, medical specialists and the Mexican Tourism Board he thinks it is possible to exceed the expected 7.2 million patients, and suggests that one way of attracting more people is to promote visits to traditional tourist destinations for both patients and their families as an add-on.

While the industry has been growing by approximately 20% annually in recent years, all the tourism organizations agree that it is essential for the government to develop a strategy in order for the industry to continue to grow.

With support from the federal government, they say they will be better able to take advantage of a lucrative opportunity that will benefit the Mexican economy.

The establishment or increase of direct flights to medical tourism hotspots, increased promotion of the industry abroad and the integration of medical tourism with more traditional tourism will also play an important role in growing the sector.

According to Arceo, “The positioning of Mexico and the development of medical tourism has been an initiative completely of the private [sector] . . . . The government must develop public policies that incentivize the development and promotion of the sector so together with companies they are rowing in the same direction.”

The bill to repeal Obamacare passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4 and is now awaiting a Senate vote.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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  • cooncats

    They don’t need to repeal it. It is collapsing all on its own. It never worked really, over 80 percent of the “new” enrollees were on Medicaid, something similar to Seguro Popular, namely a freebie. Those people aren’t going to get on a plane and come to Mexico for private health care which is a lot cheaper, true, but still has significant cost.

    The premiums are increasing at double digit rates along with the copays and deductibles. The whole thing was a gamble that enough healthy people would sign up to subsidize the rest and it didn’t happen. The young people avoided it in droves for obvious reasons.

    66 percent of the U.S. doesn’t have $1,000 in cash to their names. They live from paycheck to paycheck and sure as hell can’t take time off to leave the country for health care. The young are lucky if they even have a job and a helluva lot of those are minimum wage.

    This year should finish ObamaCare off and if the Republicans are smart, they’ll just stay out of the way and let it happen before they try and fix anything. And any fix has to start by addressing the runaway cost of health care in the U.S.

    • Dallas Autery Y Rocio Heredia

      i just had to pay for blood here in Mexico for my Mexican wife. Its not much cheaper than the US. i paid just under $4000 pesos a unit even though i had donors that knocked about a $1000 pesos off the price. Most of the time they dont even have the bllood at SP or the medicine. Deductibles on the private plans i looked at are per incident and not per year. The two night stay in a decent quality hospital but not by any means the top tier hospital in Mazatlan plus the 3 units of blood and some doctor stuff was almost $25,000 pesos. I could have put her in the Seguro Poplular hospital but we recently took her uncle there on Feb 8th. They diagnosed him with diabetes and sent him home. on Feb 12th he couldnt walk so he was taken to the Red Cross. the doctor there diagnosed him with pneumonia and said he had had it for quite some time. he was sent back to the SP hospital where he died that night. I am sure you can understand why i didnt send my wife there.

    • Anthony Stein

      Republicans smart?? What a laugh! The whole country can’t even come up with a universal health care plan! Dinosaurs! It just isn’t in their DNA!

      • Dallas Autery Y Rocio Heredia

        universal health care in Mexico sucks. Its called Seguro Popular and i explained exactly why it sucks in the post above. According to your definition of smart, democrats arent smart either because they had a veto proof margin in the Senate (including the two independents, Lieberman and Sanders who always voted democrat) for the first two years of the Obama administration and yet they didnt pass universal health care.

  • K. Chris C.

    Several problems with FascismCare:

    1) Unconstitutional. Period. The Constitution prohibits and precludes such a power, as it was not
    enumerated to or delegated to the US tyranny (IX & X). Ignoring that, it cannot be a Constitutional “tax,” as such a direct tax must be “apportioned.” Why did the SCOTUS say it was a tax? The SCOTUS is 33% Khazarian (1.73% of US pop.) and 66% Catholic over an American country that is mostly Protestant.

    2) Written and pushed through the AIPAC den, Congress, by the Khazarian Jonathan Gruber.

    3) Hidden in the Act are provisions for the creation of a private civilian military force, the ReadyReserve. Be reminded that the SS was the private civilian military arm of the Nazi party. Amongst other things, the SS ran the concentration and labor camps for the profit of the party. NDAA 2012 has a provision affording the US tyranny the justification to indefinitely detain people and American citizens.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

  • Pesobill

    Better Healthcare in Dominican Republic than Mexihole and a lot nicer place to live. Biggest crooks I have ever met there in Mexican hospitals.