Protectionist Health Care?

Wondering if American economic protectionism will be a back door into more government intervention/universal health care/single payer/significant payment reform of our health care system.

From The Wall Street Journal:

In an effort to control rising costs, a small but growing number of insurers and employers are giving people the choice to seek treatment in other countries, a practice known as medical tourism. Until recently, most Americans who traveled abroad for medical care were uninsured, or were seeking procedures not covered by insurance, such as cosmetic dentistry or aesthetic surgery. Now, a handful of plans are beginning to cover treatment overseas for heart surgery, hip and knee replacements and other major surgical procedures.

While medical tourism isn’t expected to be a solution to the country’s soaring health-care costs, the practice is intended to produce savings for insurers, employers and workers. Open-heart surgery, which can cost roughly $100,000 in the U.S., can be done at an internationally accredited hospital in India for just $8,500, for instance.

Significant health care dollars flowing overseas is not going to sit well some people, especially those who are opposed to any kind of government role in health care and leery of free trade.

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