ObamaCare South

Insurance office
Our insurance office.

I’ve had no health insurance since I moved over the Rio Bravo 13 years ago, and I haven’t been worried about it at all. I pay out of pocket.

Sure, something really major could crop up, and from what I have read, heard and observed it could cost me up to the price of a new, midsize car.

And I can handle that.

What it would not  cost, unlike north of the border, is half a million bucks or more. For that kind of price tag, you darn sure better have insurance.

But that’s not the world I live in. Our hospitals do not charge $500 for a 75-cent pill, a common ripoff above the border.

We’ve seen some health emergencies recently in my child bride’s family. The brother who came down with, and is still recovering from, encephalitis.

Another brother, shortly after, had an appendix emergency, and that required surgery too. Last year a cousin here in our town had major surgery, some female thing. I forget the details.

All of this happening together got my child bride to worrying. She thought we needed health insurance in spite of my insisting we do not.

The three relatives in question paid virtually nothing for their hospitalizations, all of which went off without a hitch. And all three were enrolled in a relatively new health plan called Seguro Popular, a government scheme.

Seguro Popular  is what Obama’s gang should have dreamed up but didn’t.

First off, it’s free to virtually everyone. It’s also optional, up to you. No coercion. If taxes went up, I doubt anyone noticed.

Well, you can’t beat free, so yesterday afternoon the two of us went to the enrollment office. That’s it in the photo above. A nice man took our information and the copies of a few simple documents.

He asked some questions like do we own a home, a car, a stove and refrigerator, and what kind of floors does our house have.

Then we stepped to the other side of the room where we were weighed, height and waist measured, and a drop of blood was taken to see our sugar level.

We’re both in tip-top shape.

About 20 minutes after that, we were fingerprinted with some high-tech gadget, and given proof of insurance and a color booklet that details all the procedures included. It appears to be almost everything that might befall you.

That’s it.  We’ve covered.

I doubt we will ever use this insurance. Why? You must go to government hospitals, most of which are quite basic, to put it mildly. I prefer a snazzy private facility 40 minutes away in the state capital.

But the future is unknown. And we now have health insurance.  Free!

God, I love socialism!

29 thoughts on “ObamaCare South”

  1. Sounds like a great plan, even if you are only using it as a backup. Wish we had something like that here in the States, rather than a healthcare industry that is gouging the sick.

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  2. Seguro Popular is what Obamacare should’ve been. But in this country, it’s considered a safety net for those not otherwise covered. I’m not sure I’d want to use its medical facilities, but that’s just me. I’ve had private health insurance since moving here 16 (gasp) years ago. Sure, I hate paying the annual premium, but I consider it a bribe I pay to the devil to stay healthy. I’ve only used it twice in all that time, and I could easily have paid those expenses out of pocket. But I know that I’ll be hit by a Mack truck the minute I let it drop.

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    1. Ms. Rose: I, of course, share your concerns about the government facilities. I, however, think we may just be spoiled. People go into those clinics, get healed and come out by the thousands. It works more often than not.

      So, you’ve had private insurance for 16 years, and you’ve used it only twice. I wager that you have paid far, far more in premiums than you paid out on the two occasions you used it.

      I did not want to do that, and I have not. And won’t.

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  3. It is serendipity that you wrote about Seguro Popular. My friend’s wife has been told she needs a cesarean section in the next couple of weeks and they have been worried about how to pay for it.

    Americans are going to have to pay double for health insurance premiums this year and many are worried about how to pay for it and how to cope with rising inflation at the same time.

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    1. Andres: I imagine it’s too late for the C-section, but urge your friends to sign up with Seguro Popular. It’s a piece of cake. Took us about 45 minutes from the moment we walked into the office till we walked out with virtually full coverage. I’m loving this country more and more.

      As for the healthcare situation in the U.S., it’s beyond ridiculous. Especially when all they need to do is look south and do what we do.

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  4. Many Canadians who winter in Mexico buy travel health insurance only for the time they actually spend crossing the USA. In Mexico, they just pay their own expenses. Norma had an ear infection in Oaxaca and went to see a doctor attached to a pharmacy. Total cost was, doctor free, drugs 200 pesos. We have travel health insurance for Mexico, but it is $500 CA/US deductible per claim.

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    1. Croft: Even I buy travel health insurance when I set foot in the U.S., something I have not done since the Bush administration. Maybe I’ll never do it again. Set foot up there, I mean.

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        1. Croft: I have never been a fan of Palin. I was sorely disappointed when McCain put her on the national stage. As for Cain, he would be a million times better as president than Obama, plus he would be an actual black dude, not the chocolate-vanilla swirl cake currently sitting in the Oval Office and passing himself off as a full-blown brownie.

          If you care about skin tones, which I really don’t much, not being a lefty.

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  5. You are singing my song. Mexico has the perfect mix of health care. People with resources can choose health insurance or run bare (as I do). People without resources can sign up for government health care. Free choice at its best.

    Of course, the system works because Mexicans, unlike their northern brethren, are not deluded that they can live forever with just the right balance of drugs and diet. People who believe that type of nonsense will pay anything — usually other people’s money — to be immortal. The problem is, like most political promises, it is just another lie of the serpent.

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    1. Well put Steve. The US will not be a pleasant place years from now when all the boomers want the $ from their social security “trust fund” and health care is rationed. The final nails will be interest rates increasing and the dollar losing the reserve status. Life is much better in Mexico!

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      1. Life for the gringo is better south of the border because of the big, wealthy, consuming brother to the north, so I would not get the doomsday scenario going just yet.

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        1. John: There is no doubt we have learned from you folks up there, positive things, capitalism, democracy and all that. It literally filters down, which is why northern Mexico is far better off than southern Mexico. Let us hope we don’t also decide later to copy your bad habits.

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  6. I think one of the big problems we have in the U.S. is that Americans would never accept any kind of tiered hospital system … bare-bones facilities for the poor or those who choose a cheap policy or nice hospitals for those who can afford Cadillac plans or cash. In Mexico you have IMSS hospitals, Civil hospitals, even Pemex hospitals for Pemex employees and now Seguro Popular facilities. Americans have to have access to the BEST. Any kind of visible difference in care would be considered discriminatory. While in Xalapa a few years ago I fell in the shower and cut a pretty big gash in the back of my head. I went to a Hospital Civil and was seen by a nurse, a doctor and sewn up by a plastic surgeon for a total of $10.00 American.

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    1. Señor Bowman: Excellent point. Americans do want everybody to get treated equally, and more and more that means everybody is treated increasingly badly.

      Alas, everybody is not equal, never has been and never will be in many areas of life. Nor should they be.

      By the way, I do not believe Seguro Popular has its own hospitals. We were told to use the Hospitales Civiles.

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      1. In Morelia, male Seguro Popular patients are to use the Hospital Civil, and women and children are expected to use the Hospital de la Mujer.

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        1. Ms. Rose: Yep, I had heard that. We were told that our primary clinic here is a small hospital on the outskirts of town, but if something major occurred it would be dealt with in the state capital. Also, that if an emergency happened, we could go anywhere, and the insurance would pay.

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  7. A big part of the health care problem in the USA is the fact that we eat such an unhealthy diet. For those who care, you can see my full-blown rant on VivaVeracruz.com/blog, where I basically just said the same thing, but with much more detail. Chronic, diet-related diseases are the biggest drivers of health costs in the USA. Get a better national diet, and those costs gradually disappear.

    As for México, it’s gonna have some big problems too unless it does something about the success of Coca-Cola, and other packaged food/drink manufacturers SOB.

    Personally, I’ve wanted to distribute bumper-stickers in México written in Coke’s flowing red script that say, “Destapa Diabetes, as a play on their current billboard campaign there.

    But I wonder how long I could get away with that before being sued into oblivion.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we think Americans really need to wake up to the horrors of the typical diet.

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    1. Kim: You are, of course, right about the American diet, but I cannot help thinking it’s better than we eat down here where we cover everything with cream and cheese and, as you note, swill Coke like there’s no mañana.

      I’m 68. To get the insurance policy in the office, they did, as I mentioned, a blood test and a couple of other simple procedures. One of the nurses, who looked to be about 25, said my numbers were better than hers!

      We have a huge problem in this country with diabetes.

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  8. America is #1 in obesity and diabetes. Mexico is # 2. We are both getting killed by Coke, Pepsi and junk food.

    My Mexican friends say that Seguro Popular provides no privacy. The staff are extremely busy and seldom follow antiseptic and sanitary procedures. It is difficult to say if it is better than nothing.

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    1. Andres: And yet my brother-in-law in Querétaro just returned home after an almost two-month stay in a government hospital courtesy of Seguro Popular. My wife visited him there, staying several overnights in the hospital, which is common for family members here, and she had nothing but positive things to say about it. He had his own private cubicle with a window view.

      The cousin I mentioned in the post, the one with the female problems, had her surgery at the Woman’s Hospital in the state capital, courtesy of Seguro Popular, and she left with a smile on her face, which is saying something for her due to normally being a very difficult individual.

      And the other brother just weeks ago had his appendix removed at the Hospital Civil in the state capital, and he was very pleased with everything. Again, Seguro Popular.

      I have long said and firmly believe that living in this country is akin to living in Alice’s Wonderland. You see all kind of strange stuff, and you hear strange stuff too.

      Seguro Popular is an arm of the government, and there is little the locals enjoy more than badmouthing any government service. I submit to you that it is part of why you have heard what you have heard. The other part is that services can vary widely, depending on the facility in which one ends up.

      In other words, who knows? But it’s free!

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    2. P.S. Andres: Something else occurs to me. I do not believe Seguro Popular has hospitals any more than does Blue Cross/Blue Shield. It’s an insurance program. It’s true that you get treated in government facilities, but they are the same facilities people get treated in with other insurance plans or, probably more common, no insurance at all.

      So if your Mexican friends say Seguro Popular provides no privacy or the staffs are overworked or poorly trained, they are actually referring to the hospitals they are familiar with, not the insurance plan. And we know that government hospitals, like so many things the government runs, can vary widely from one place to another.

      Like much of life down here, it’s a crap shoot.

      But if you’re gonna be in a government facility it’s sure better to have insurance than not, especially when it’s free. I imagine that your friend whose wife needs a C-section is wishing he had it right now.

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