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If Health-Care Reform Fails, Run for the Border

Let's hope there's not a Mexican version of Lou Dobbs ready to rage against all the Americans who may soon be tempted to go south of the border for health care

That article in the Arizona Republic quotes a retiree from Broward County who gives this ringing endorsement to IMSS, Mexico's public health-care system.

"They take very good care of us," said Jessica Moyal, 59, of Hollywood, Fla., who now lives in San Miguel de Allende. She and her husband have private insurance and originally enrolled in IMSS just as a backup, but they use it for all kinds of routine care.

It's unclear how many Americans use IMSS, but with 40,000 to 80,000 U.S. retirees living in Mexico, the number probably runs "well into the thousands," said David Warner, a public-policy professor at the University of Texas who has studied expatriates and their health care.

But don't pack your sombrero just yet. The article also says that Mexican officials are concerned about the program's sustainability, and you can bet they're not eager for a surge of sick Americans. Judging by some of the refrains in those health-care town forums, opponents to reform actually like having a health-care system that's crueler than those in less developed countries, like Mexico. The way they see it, it's a deterrent to immigration. Brilliant.

Meanwhile in D.C., congressional Democrats are forging a compromise that's sounding like a band-aid for a bullet wound.

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Thomas Francis

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