Fighting Fire with Fire: Reforming the Health Care System Through a Modified Market-Based Approach to Medical Tourism

BY Heather T. Williams

The United States is in the midst of a historic health care crisis. A variety of factors such as growing health administrative costs, increased proliferation of medical technology, increased demand for medical services, and growing costs borne by third-party payors have raised the cost of medical care in the United States to record levels. Such costs are increasing faster than the rate of inflation and consuming a greater percentage of American families’ incomes. Compounding this problem, roughly 46.3 million Americans lacked health insurance coverage in 2008. Although Congress enacted historic legislation in March 2010 designed to improve the American health insurance system radically, critics of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) continue to lambast its potential to improve health care for American patients. In any case, the PPACA’s fundamental insurance reforms will not take effect until 2013 or later, and its beneficial effects will likely take even longer to materialize. In the face of sweeping and uncertain changes to Americans’ primary mode of health care financing, the future of American health care is fraught with uncertainty.

DOWNLOAD PDF | 89 N.C. L. Rev. 607 (2011)