Time is ripe for Cubans to become Medicare vendors

Now that the U.S. is taking steps toward normalizing relations with our cash-poor, doctor-rich neighbor to the southeast, I am hoping that the time is ripe for Medicare to begin using Cuban medical services, as proposed in a February 2013 posting. (See my health care reform proposal for some reasons why every other country can provide health care at a lower cost than us.)

As a taxpayer I am looking forward to complete normalization of ties with Cuba. Keeping Cuba around as an official enemy is a sad reminder of how little return we get on our military and CIA dollars. If we can’t make the Castro brothers do what we tell them to, why should any other political leader listen to us?

[Separately, a friend has just returned from a trip to Costa Rica where he and his wife had complicated dental surgery at a fraction of the cost quoted in Boston. How was it? Here’s how he responded to my emailed question…

I have had nothing but bad/horrendous dental care in the US (part of why I’m having to have so much work done), so the bar has not been set high. I have seen three different specialists from one practice- a cosmetic surgeon, a periodontist, and a general? dentist. They are all US-educated and teach at the university here. Their English is perfect, they are highly intelligent, articulate, and personable. Really, the best professional experience of any type I have ever had. Their office is in Escazu, which is the Weston of CR [Weston is a rich suburb of Boston]. Lots of rich CR clients, the practice is not really oriented towards foreigners, although they do that as well.

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