|Paula Gomez, director of the Brownsville Community Health Center.|
I don't know if that's the case, but it sure looks like it in Texas. A recent article in ThinkProgress shows that many uninsured Texans have to cross the border into Mexico in order to get affordable healthcare because their medical bills at home are so high. Those who are afraid to go into Mexico resort to even more extreme measures: sharing their insulin shots.
"Many of those who live here (Brownsville) – including poor Latino immigrants, both legal and undocumented - suffer from diabetes and lack of insurance. Some of those uninsured diabetics, including American citizens and others living here legally, used to go across the border to Matamoros, Mexico for insulin. But now with the fear of brutal drug violence and tougher border restrictions, families share their insulin shots rather than risking the crossings"
The situation gets worse when there's a more serious illness or condition that requires expensive or long-term treatment.
“Once you diagnose a cancer, then what?” said Dr. Henry Imperial, the medical director of the Brownsville Community Health Center. “How are you going to give me chemotherapy or surgery or radiation therapy? It goes out of our hands.”
Unless politicians solve their differences, uninsured patients will have to find a solution on their own. If you're one of them and you're considering going to Mexico to get affordable treatment, I strongly suggest you get Monica Rix Paxson's English Speaker's Guide to Health Care in Mexico, which will help you find a good, reputable doctor and what cultural differences to expect when going to a hospital or clinic in Mexico.