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Letter: More Americans will go overseas for surgeries

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Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013 12:00 am

John Lucas recently wrote a letter, “Obama’s health care will be better for everyone,” Oct. 5, where he implied that health care will be better for everyone under a single-payer system that Obamacare is gravitating towards.

He would have to be unaware of the dramatic increase in Medicare tourism involving people in America, Canada and England to perceive that. This would not happen if everyone was better off now. Clearly, people having to wait six months or more to get surgeries is unacceptable. Since each doctor is required to see up to 70 patients a day in single-payer systems, quality of care is lower. Internationally, these same surgeries can be performed quickly and professionally.

An example of such a destination made popular by single-payer systems like Canada and England (and now Obamacare) is Bumrungrad International Hospital in Thailand, which was voted as one of the top 10 hospitals in the world by the MTQA. It serves more than a million patients annually; more than 400,000 are internationals. It has been featured by CBS’s “60 Minutes,” NBC’s “The Today Show,” Time, Newsweek and other international press as a leader in medical tourism.

They have more than 1,000 physicians on staff, with 210 being board-certified in United States. As I type, there are many medical facilities under construction in anticipation of many more patients, thanks to Obamacare.

Other top destinations for affordable quality care internationally are: Fortis Hospital, Bangalore, India; Clemenceau Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon; Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore; Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, India; and Prince Court Medical Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Darrell Baumbach


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  • Andrew Liebich posted at 9:35 am on Tue, Oct 15, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) and five other plaintiffs filed suit in the Superior Court of Sacramento, California to block Kaiser Permanente from participating in California's Health Benefit Exchange due to its substandard care that violates the Exchange's rules.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:37 am on Tue, Oct 15, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    But it is quite clear the authorities in charge of Obamacare don't know the difference between success and failure.

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 10:49 pm on Mon, Oct 14, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    This ought to make the Opologists heads spin...

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 5:26 pm on Mon, Oct 14, 2013.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 470

    This isn't specualtion of right wingers.. these are real people telling the real stories of what they are going through.. Just one of the thousands of negative comments on Facebook healthcare.gov "I have coverage and now I'm told that BCBS NC will cancelled it on January 1, 2014. Currently, my plan costs $316 per month, has 100% well care, no deductible, 4 visits to any doctor per year for $25, a RX co pay of $15; then a deductible of $5,000. This works for me and now the Government say I cannot have my plan! This is CONTRARY to all the hype about keeping your plan. Instead, I get a plan that costs $630 per month and has no RX, and a $10,000 deductible before anything is paid! TERRIBLE!

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 5:15 pm on Mon, Oct 14, 2013.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 470

    If you are on Facebook go to healthcare.gov page and read the comments.. If they were not so pitiful they would be funny...

  • Ed Walters posted at 12:50 pm on Mon, Oct 14, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    Andrew, I to have Kaiser and have for over 50 years. After reading about two of the people that Obama care has inpacked, I can only hope he doesn`t monkey around with the near perfect plan I have. You cannot re-invent the wheel, but leave it to Barry to try. Would it be possable for the two less than happy people with Barrycare to switch back, if this feasco happened to me, I would bust by butt trying. Hard to believe a doctor with only himself and staff can make the cut, he has a lot of bills to pay out each month, what with staff, paper work, utilities, lawn service and inter net bills, waiting for Barry to send along compensation might take a life time. Leave Kaiser alone.[thumbdown]

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 10:42 am on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    esThe San Francisco Bay Area is a liberal strong-hold. But the San Francisco Chronicle came out recently with the headline “Health Insurance Shoppers Suffer Sticker Shock.”One example they cited was SF Bay Area resident 47-year-old Shelley Ross, self employed, who was looking forward to getting a better deal through Obamacare. After registering, she lamented that “every plan is going to cost more than what I pay now, and what I pay now is ridiculous.”Another San Francisco resident, 63-year-old John Lonergan lost his reasonably priced Kaiser Permanente plan, because it can’t comply to Obamacare mandates. In order to maintain the same level of coverage with Obamacare that he had with Kaiser, his annual premium cost will increase by over $3,600.In nearby San Jose, California, the San Jose Mercury News reported, “Like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills.”This paper featured Cindy Vinson’s and Tom Waschura’s sticker shock. Both are Obama supporters. Vinson’s annual premium bill went up $1,800, and Waschura’s annual premium spiked incredibly to $10,000 over what he was accustomed to paying.Cindy Vinson explained that she’s in favor of everyone having coverage, but “[she] didn’t expect to be the one paying for it personally.” Waschura told the Mercury News, “I really don’t like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this.”

  • John Lucas posted at 8:46 pm on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    So far over 84,000 and when they get the kinks ironed out it will be millions of people who never had and never could afford health insurance before will sign up.. This coupled with those newly covered by medicaid means about 30 million people will be able to get preventive care and go to the doctor at the first sign of sickness for the first time. This will dramatically bring down the cost of healthcare overall as proved by all countries where healthcare is universal. This will also bring down the damage brought to our economy because far less people will be going bankrupt because of medical bills. Hate to break it to you but Obamacare in the end is going to be a smashing success.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 5:59 pm on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Let's see what your "numbers" show in the following weeks and months, Mr. Liebich, before you, just like your FOX News and "infowars" puppetmasters declare the ACA to be such a huge disaster.

    Citing some large or small glitches does not make YOU an authority on its success or failure.

  • Ed Walters posted at 1:13 pm on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    Darrell: I suppose it all depends on what kind of HMO you have, I have the best and have had it for over 53 years. Kaiser has taken care of myself and my family. Is going over seas the best way to save a buck or too? What kind of surgeries are we talking, some that require the skill of a skilled doctor, or an apprentice just starting out with plastic surgery, I have seen the results of botched boob jobs and plastic surgeries that require the skill of an American board certified doctor to repair. According to you, there are 1,000 doctors, and a blazing 210 are board certified, do you get to pick between an apprentice and the real deal. Do you know the doctor that will do the operation, he works cheap so I suppose he can pass his price along. Concerning after care, an American doctor most likely won`t touch a person that has had an overseas operation, liability.

    Waiting 6 months is false,depending on the plan you have. I had an gall bladder attack, most pain full, a sonagram was preformed to determined the problem, my gall bladder was removed the next day by a board certified surgeon, as all doctors at Kaiser are. To spend anywhere from $2,256 round trip to Malaysa for a proceedure only to find follow up care will be needed, glad you can afford it, I can`t. My gall bladder removal and a night in the hospital cost me $10.

  • Andrew Liebich posted at 8:14 am on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    Andrew Liebich Posts: 2999

    The launch of the online “health insurance exchanges” which were supposed to make signing up for Obamacare a breeze have been an abysmal failure. 

    The Iowa Obamacare exchange has enrolled a grand total of five people in Obamacare at this point.

    The Hawaii Obamacare exchange was so bad that the entire site has been taken down and will eventually be relaunched.

    The launch of Obamacare has been such a disaster that it is really hard to find the words to adequately describe it.

    The Obama administration says that millions of people tried to sign up on the very first day. So, let’s ask a real simple question here of the administration: Out of those millions of people who tried to sign up, how many actually have insurance policies purchased through the exchange?

    Anyone? …Anyone? … Bueller?

    The answer appears to be ZERO. 

    Even Kathleen Sebelius, the very top dog at HHS, can’t name a single person who has enrolled. Consider the nightmare qualities of this scenario for a second: Out of millions of people who tried, not ONE person is confirmed as enrolled? Seriously?

    Obamacare is an epic fail at every level!

  • John Lucas posted at 5:48 am on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

    John Lucas Posts: 2730

    Darrell I have long been aware medical tourism as it has increased dramatically for the 20 years long before Obamacare. You forgot to mention Mexico. Much of these surgeries, especially in Thailand, are plastic surgery which most health plans do not cover. Thailand is the king (or should I say queen? ) of the sex change variety, boob jobs, facial surgery etc. There are also some health plans that allow people to go abroad for surgery. To say that Obamacare is causing this as you imply is simply not true.

    I do not know why you and your fellow right wingers hate the idea of everyone being able to go to the doctor for regular checkups or when they are sick. The only answer I can logically come up with after listening and reading what you have to say is that you need the freedom to watch your neighbors suffer, die and go bankrupt needlessly. The medical system in the United States is the most expensive in the world by a long shot. The 35 or so countries rated ahead of us in medical outcomes cover everyone and do it at about half the price per person. THOSE ARE THE FACTS. PERIOD. We have deliberately designed a system that does not cover everyone, is in the 30’s in medical outcomes, is a big part of our being rated 51st in the world in lifespan and forces us to watch our neighbors suffer, die and go bankrupt needlessly. Could we have done a worse job? Obamacare will go a long way in fixing this problem. Eventually we will get it right. Those who are fighting this should be ashamed of themselves.


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