Medical Vacations

Apr 13

Medical Vacations

THAILAND….COSTA RICA….MEXICAN RIVIERA…?  Beachcombing used to be the main event in exotic vacation destinations like these, but today, you’re as apt to be looking for a new kidney or heart as beautiful seashells or sun and rum-drenched sunsets. As affordable medical care becomes more and more out of reach for middle-class Americans, many have opted to seek for relief elsewhere.

Wealthy people used to come here for the best medical treatments, but these days, the tide has reversed, and we are looking everywhere else for relief from rising medical costs. According to a recent article in the New Yorker, a hip-replacement surgery costs approximately fifteen thousand dollars, while here in the good ole U.S. of A., it can run you ninety thousand or more! That’s 6 times as high!

At first, I thought this was a great idea.  Maybe if American insurance companies had to compete for business, they’d reign in costs.  But what I discovered was that they’re the first ones to jump on the band wagon.  They are offering these services under the umbrella of their own companies.

I don’t think it’s doctors or even hospitals who are profiting from the high costs of medical care here in the U.S., but the insurance companies.  Until we have a public option in our national health care plans, Blue Cross and the others will continue to keep costs high and our ability to care for ourselves, low.

So…my recommendation is to bypass the system.  Use what you have, but increasingly, we alone are in charge of our health.  We need to educate ourselves and our children how to care for our physical, mental and emotional well being.  That alone would cut the need to go to the doctor in half.  That and a little herbal knowledge would devastate the pharmaceutical companies.  Oh, darn….

Last, but not least, if we simply refused to have our lives painfully and expensively prolonged by multiple end-of-life surgeries and 40-pills a day regimines, we’d keep insurance companies from profiting from what would have been our dignified, natural life spans and deaths.

There is a place for western, modern medicine; but it should only be one tool in our healthy living tool kit.  The insurance companies only have as much power as we give them.



  1. Obviously you are looking for a free lunch, which you are not going to get. Suddenly with your aunt not doing well, you feel that there MUST be a blind inasrunce company out there flush with cash ready to cover this person, so when she passes away, you will become wealthy.Very few if any companies will do this, because she is in a nursing home, because she is quite ill, and because you have no vested interest in her.Any company willing to insure her will only do so, with a forfeiture of a few year period of non-payment is she dies, and also of only a small claim amount. In other words, someone will have to pay a bunch of money for a period of time, if she lives, hoping to collect it back when she dies. Nothing is for nothing. Was this answer helpful?

    • admin /

      Hello Nuliken, and welcome to the Saturday Salon. I agree there is no free lunch when it comes to health care. First, I am assuming that the aunt you are talking about is a fictitious person used to clarify your example. I would like to understand your thoughts better. From what I am reading, it sounds like you are saying the neice or nephew should be caring for their aunt themselves instead of putting them in a nursing home, expecting the insurance companies to pay for her care, then benefiting financially when she dies eventually. I don’t think anyone benefits from the insurance company when their aunt dies, but from whatever inheritance she leaves them, if any. I do not understand the part where you are talking about a “few year period of non-payment”. You’ll have to help me out there.

      My basic thoughts on health care is that the government should provide good quality health care for all citizens, paid for by taxes. We do not have a public option currently. Even with the new Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are still profiting the most. Health Care and Education should be our national priorities, vs jails and military spending, except for national defense.

      If we had excellent health care and education, focusing on prevention – building healthy, strong people, families and communities, we would prevent many of the health and community problems we face today. A large proportion of our health care costs currently go towards trying to correct health problems that could have been prevented through life-style corrections and preventive care.

      I would like to hear more of your thoughts on families caring for elderly or ill family members. It sounds like you might have personal experience with this?

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