On February 19, 2020

Health care is broken, fly to Mexico

Dear Editor,

I was still trying to get used to the idea that some Americans are going to jail because they don’t show up in court when hospitals sue them for unpaid medical bills when I came across other news that seemed at first like satire.  The state of Utah has a “Pharmacy Tourism Program” that pays for some state employees to travel to Mexico and Canada, by air, to fill prescriptions for expensive medicines.

Even after paying the cost of airfare and a cash bonus to the employee as an incentive, the Utah Public Employees Health Program [PEHP] saves considerable money on these prescriptions.  The program started last year, and involves only a few employees, but has already saved about $250,000 according to the director of PEHP.

Add this to the existing “medical tourism” in which Americans travel to foreign countries for more affordable medical procedures.  It’s so common—750,000 people way back in 2007— that the American Medical Association has guidelines on it. According to a 2019 article in the American Journal of Medicine, some American hospitals have set up branches in foreign countries to take advantage of American patients who can’t afford care at those same hospitals in the US.

How can people continue to deny that our health care system is broken beyond repair?  We obviously need some form of Medicare for All, not just tinkering around the jagged edges of our current disaster.

Lee Russ,


Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

A public education Vermonters support and value

May 22, 2024
By Margaret MacLean Editor’s note: Margaret MacLean, from Peacham, has been an educator for 50 years, working as a teacher, school principal and consultant both in Vermont, the U.S. and internationally. Over the past 14 years Vermont has enacted three sweeping school district consolidation laws. The overarching goals of Act 153, Act 156, and Act…

Vermont’s lost submarine memorial

May 22, 2024
Dear Editor, At the Veteran Administration (VA) in White River Jct, VT, there is a distinct memorial dedicated to the Submarine USS Flier (SS 250) lost during World War II.  Ever mindful of our lost shipmates, friends and family that have served in the submarine service of our country, the U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI)…

H.121 poses significant risk to Vermont’s business community

May 22, 2024
Dear Editor, As the CEO of the Vermont Country Store (VCS), I strongly support consumer privacy as does the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and many peer companies in the state. I wholeheartedly endorse the Connecticut law that was the foundation of H.121. However, as passed it is my hope that Governor Scott will veto H.121.…

Vermont’s outsize appetite for taxes

May 22, 2024
Dear Editor, Most Vermont taxpayers have just experienced a period of tax focus, specifically property taxes to support our public schools. Some communities are still going through the valuable public debate about property taxes and, more generally, the overall tax burden and trying to evaluate that relative to what we receive for our tax dollars.…