The NY Times has a good article on the growth of medical tourism in South Korea. Americans are traveling abroad for healthcare. It's little wonder--we have the most expensive healthcare system in the world yet have appalling health with a system that is steadily declining. Countries with national plans (France, Sweden, the UK) spend the least among industrial nations. And yet it's absolutely taboo to mention a national plan in the U.S. (I honestly believe there's a conspiracy. I've listened to call in programs on multiple occasions where callers were immediately silenced after asking why we don't have a national plan.) To return to South Korea, a woman giving birth can stay in a hospital afterwards in a private room for 3 or 4 days with nice meals provided, even with family members joining her, for the price of a hotel room. In the U.S., the same room for the same time would cost the price of a car (and not a cheap car, at that). And yet we still have smirking George on the news yesterday telling us that if we just wait a little bit longer the markets will take care of it all. Kind'a brings to mind an old Shirley Temple song: "Be optimisitic..."