KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Industry Revenue Up 5.7 Percent, Some Seniors Head South For Care

The Dallas Morning News reports that the U.S. Census released a report Thursday that showed health care industry's revenues grew 5.7 percent in 2008 to $1.75 trillion. The number represents 30 percent of economic activity in the U.S., according to a Census official. "The Census Bureau cites Texas as one of the most expensive states for health care. It spends $104 billion a year on Medicare and Medicaid, and the spending is increasing 7 percent annually, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services" (Roberson, 12/18).

Meanwhile, CBS News reports that cost concerns are driving some older Americans to Mexico for their health care. "Billy and Sandi Hunter retired to their dream home in Manzanillo. Then they learned they hit the healthcare jackpot: full medical, dental and vision coverage for $600 a year. … The Hunters bought into the Mexican Social Security Institute, or IMSS - a government-run health care plan for Mexican employees but open to legal foreigners." The system struggles with lines, waiting lists and doctor and medication shortages. "IMSS is designed for Mexican workers who've been paying into the system for decades and it's already financially strained. Some worry a flood of American retirees could bankrupt it" (Cobiella, 12/17). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.