The cost of healthcare in America has hit an all-time high in 2022, with many experts projecting that this figure will only increase as time progresses. While US healthcare certainly ranks higher in quality than developing countries, it actually falls short when compared to other industrialized nations in some areas. Overall, "trust" in America's healthcare system has also dwindled over the years.
Re-structuring healthcare to a single buyer system has been a long point of contention within the united states. Inflated costs for medical procedures, treatment, and pharmaceuticals have culminated in a system that has oft-been discussed, yet hardly addressed. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) which was introduced during President Barack Obama's administration was oft-vilified by critics but ended up failing to deliver on the promise of providing quality healthcare that Americans could actually cover the cost of.
Health insurance premiums are another sore spot. In fact, 1 in 6 Americans say that they are clinging to jobs that they don't want just to keep their benefits, even though there's a sizable portion of their salaries that goes to cover the cost of those benefits. Pay for insurance on your own and it's not uncommon for a family to fork over $1,100 or so to modest coverage (personally, that's what I was paying with Amerihealth and I still had high co-pays and deductibles...yikes.)
This is why many Americans are opting to travel abroad for particular procedures, like TikToker Delia O'Malley, a Georgia-living Irish lass who posts under the handle @asdeliadoes who was charged a whopping $3099 for a root canal procedure in the United States. Here's the kicker: she had insurance coverage as well.
Gobsmacked by the figure, she decided to explore other options. Namely looking up what a flight in Turkey costs and heading on over to a reputable dentist in the country so she could not only have work done on her mouth but enjoy a nice vacation while she was out there.
While many would argue that this is probably a fair trade for the same exact price, Delia didn't pay the cost of her US root canal as she did for her trip to Turkey.
She actually paid way, way less. Delia says that for $1,167 she was able to book her trip and her dental appointment to Turkey. You figure a few hundred dollars spent on shopping, and maybe a luxury spa experience, and she'd still be well below the $3,099 US root canal cost.
Here's the breakdown of what everything cost her: $800 for her round-trip flight, $200 for the seven-day hotel stay, and around $160 for her root canal.
Delia technically doesn't even have to pay for food either, as she was staying at an all-inclusive resort during her time in Turkey as well.
If you're interested of getting dental work done in Turkey and want to follow Delia's footsteps, she delineated exactly where she went. She had her root canal completed at the same place she had two veneers worked on previously, so if you're worried about traveling abroad for healthcare procedures and not finding a doctor you can trust, there are plenty of resources online you can consult to help you make a more informed decision.
Of course, there are horror stories of people who ended up with shady doctors performing life-threatening work on their bodies that leaves them disfigured, but it's not uncommon for US doctors not fudge procedures as well, like these NY doctors who left a breathing tube in a patient for 30 years.
Viewers who saw Delia's story were sickened by the cost of her US root canal. They couldn't believe that she was hit with a $3,099 charge even with insurance, and others highlighted it as yet another way American leadership are failing citizens and serving corporate interests over the needs of the people who elected them.
"'It's called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it' - George Carlin," one user wrote.
Others shared that there are doctors in other regions/parts of the world that provide quality healthcare procedures, like Peru and Mexico.
In fact one TikToker said that entire local economies are founded on medical tourism: "In Mexico it’s around 150 usd 👌 there’s a whole industry to servicing Americans in the border cities 😂 hospitals have hotel deals."
Then there were those who couldn't believe some commenters defended the $3,099 payment for a root canal: "All the “that’s not bad” people are so brainwashed, I swear. It IS bad. With insurance?! Guys. Come on."
What do you think? Would you feel a big timid about traveling abroad to get work done? Does it comfort you knowing that if you get one done in your home country you could have a better chance of pursuing legal action if your doctor botches anything? Or do you think that it's silly to pay more money when there are doctors in countries that offer comparable or in many instances better healthcare for less money while you get a vacation out of it?