You probably haven’t heard about it, but there’s another mass migration coming across the US-Mexico border. However, these are not Central American families fleeing horrific conditions back home – only to be separated, incarcerated, traumatized, and demonized by the Trump Gang for seeking humanitarian asylum in our country.
Rather, these migrants are going the other way, from the USA into Mexican border towns, where they’re welcomed with open arms instead of armed guards. They are mostly working-class people seeking relief from our nation’s unaffordable, no-care healthcare system. As many as 6,000 a day travel to towns like Los Algodones, across from Yuma, Arizona, to get medical services and prescription drugs that are priced out of their reach here in the US. Nicknamed “Molar City,” Los Algodones has more dentists per capita than anywhere else in the world – quality dental work in Mexico averages two-thirds less than it costs here.
This is because the health system there prioritizes care over profits. Start with professional education, which is tuition-free in Mexico, meaning dentists and other healthcare providers don’t have to jack-up prices to cover a crushing load of student debt. Also, Mexico’s universal, tax-paid healthcare system doesn’t saddle patients with exorbitantly-expensive, insurance bureaucracies. It’s a system that’s open, affordable, and accessible to all – the opposite of ours, which is why hordes of US working-class people go south to find care. As a Truthout article reports, “US citizens seeking healthcare can park in Yuma for $5, walk across the border, get the help they need and come back for dinner.”
Instead of building a senseless border wall to keep people out of the US, our leaders ought to be looking across the border for ideas on how to build a better healthcare system.
“Millions of Americans Flood Into Mexico for Health Care – the Human Caravan You Haven’t Heard About,” https://truthout.org/articles/millions-of-americans-flood-into-mexico-for-health-care/, January 23, 2019.
“A Reason To Smile: Mexican Town Is A Destination For Dental Tourism,” https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/06/09/318212444/a-reason-to-smile-mexican-town-is-a-destination-for-dental-tourism, June 9, 2014.
“Mexico Dentist Prices – The Ultimate Guide,” https://sanidentalgroup.com/blog/mexico-dentist-prices/, January 26, 2019.