Remember all those arguments about Canadians crossing the border to escape Canadian single payer health care and coming to the United States for medical procedures?
I debunked that in a post a couple of years ago called, The 'flood' is a trickle' in which we saw that statistics where available actually showed that the number of Canadians coming to the U.S. for voluntary medical prcedures was a vanishingly small number-- far fewer than the number who were forced to seek medical care in the U.S. because of accidents or other medical emergencies they experienced while visiting. The reason people who make that argument typically name names and tell individual stories is that this is the only way they can make the argument, because there are so few that you actually could name them.
What we see now though is that there is another foot for that shoe to be on. An article about an uninsured American man who was forced to go to Wales for medical care due to cost concerns and gets the same treatment at a far cheaper price there gives some statistics further down:
An estimated 878,000 Americans will travel internationally for a medical procedure this year, according to a report from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. That number is expected to nearly double by 2012.
The majority of medical tourists are uninsured; however, the cost of health care in this country has become so expensive that even some U.S. health insurance companies are coordinating with hospitals overseas.
Luckily it probably won't rise anymore after 2012 because then the full force of the recently passed health bill will kick into effect.
But at least for now, it appears that far more Americans are seeking medical care in other countries than the reverse.