In his previous post, DrRich offered some general issues to consider before one dives into black market healthcare, and reminds his readers why this will not be an endeavor for the faint-hearted. In this post, we will get into some specifics.
DrRich must first assure his readers (and any government officials who may inadvertently stumble upon this blog) that he is a law-abiding citizen, and does not condone illegal activities. So he will suggest here only activities for black market healthcare which, strictly speaking, will not be illegal under American law; though not so much by complying with the law, but by avoiding it.
DrRich trusts that his readers can think up the more illegal kinds of black market activities for themselves, and thus they do not need his help with this aspect of the endeavor. Many of these more obvious illegal forms of black market healthcare (e.g., “medical speakeasies,” located in back alleys for the proletariat, and in swanky office buildings for public officials; rolling surgical suites hidden in semi-trucks; smuggling rings for drugs and medical equipment; an “underground-railroad-style” transport system for itinerant physicians who need to ply their illicit trade while on the move; etc.), can be established by individuals, or by relatively small groups of entrepreneurs, and with relatively little up-front capital or lead time – and with no coaching from DrRich.
But the varieties of black market healthcare which DrRich has in mind – certain “less illegal” activities, which will drive the U.S government into states of apoplexy but over which it will have little legal jurisdiction – will require a much larger scale, and a significant investment in time and energy. So anyone who is interested ought to get started with the necessary organizational activities right away.
DrRich has three such suggestions. With all three of them, DrRich envisions that implementation would be driven by a major private healthcare organization (or a consortium of them) which has a record of innovative thinking, as well as access to significant financial resources through their own holdings, or through their connections with rich benefactors from around the world. He is thinking of organizations like the Cleveland Clinic, the Mayo Clinic, or the Kaiser system.
For the sake of mankind, DrRich offers these suggestions free and clear. They may be taken up, with his blessings, by any institution or organization that wishes to employ them, with no obligations or strings attached whatsoever.
1) Floating Off-Shore Medical Centers. In this scenario, the Cleveland Clinic (say), with the help of their friends in Abu Dhabi, buys or leases a mothballed former Soviet aircraft carrier (nuclear power preferred), and refurbishes it into a floating, world-class medical center. The ship will ply the international waters off the American coasts, providing regular helicopter transport to and from major cities. There’s a lot you could do with an aircraft carrier, of course, to make it an attractive destination aside from medical care, including (for instance) establishing a world class hotel, food services, casinos and other entertainments. But the chief attraction would be that Americans will be able to buy the best healthcare services in the world, without fear of being arrested.
The fact that this floating medical center will be based on a former warship may turn out to be an advantage. Obviously, it would be useful to maintain at least some weaponry on board, if only to repel “pirates” But given the anger this ship will generate among American government officials, the Cleveland Clinic (or whoever) might be wise to remain intentionally ambiguous about just how much firepower the ship has retained. Just sayin’.
2) Native American Medical Centers. There are two things about the current state of Native American culture which make this approach to black market healthcare at least feasible, if not compelling. First is the recognized “sovereign status” of Native American reservations, the same status which has allowed various tribes across the land to open gambling casinos, even in states which otherwise do not allow such establishments. If their sovereign status justifies casinos (establishments of mere entertainment, which, in fact, encourage bad behaviors of all sorts such as alcoholism, prostitution, smoking and – gasp!- obesity), then surely the same sovereign status would justify establishing advanced institutions of healing.
Second is the deep guilt that Americans rightly feel about the treatment Native Americans have suffered over the years, much of which was arranged by the U.S. government. Note, in particular, that one of the ongoing claims which Native Americans have against the larger American culture is the chronically substandard state of the healthcare services they are provided. So, who will dare stand in the way of these oppressed peoples, when they propose to dedicate a portion of their pitiful remaining sovereign lands (with the help of, perhaps, the Mayo Clinic and its benefactors) to the development of world-class medical centers?
One advantage of the “Native American Strategy” for black market healthcare is that it would allow medical centers of various sizes and emphasis to be established in numerous convenient tribal locations around the U.S., as the need and logistics allow. Within a decade or two, if they play their cards right, Native American tribes may even find themselves controlling nearly 20% of the American economy – which would be justice at its finest.
3) Medical Centers Across the Mexican Border. There are several potential benefits to this suggestion. Converting Tijuana, Nogales, Laredo and Juarez from hotbeds of human and drug smuggling into hotbeds of illicit healthcare would probably be a boon to the local populations on both sides of the border. It would create tens of thousands of good jobs in Mexico, for Mexicans. The heavily-armed gangs of Mexican drug-runners along the border could be hired by the Cleveland Clinic Juarez, or the Mayo Clinic Nogales, as security guards, thus absorbing their “talents” into a more legitimate economy. (Being located so close to the border of a powerful nation which will badly want to terminate these medical centers would, one must understand, create a certain need for security.)
If nothing else, world-class medical centers just across the Mexican border would reverse the flow of illicit border crossings. Americans (and Canadians, who, bless them, would now have to travel much farther south for their healthcare) would suddenly be streaming across desert border crossings into Mexico in the dark of night – and Mexicans would be staying put. And its desperate need to get rid of black market healthcare would, at long last, give the U.S. government a compelling reason to control the borders once and for all. We would suddenly see American troops all along the Mexican border, supported by such features as a “no-man’s land” seeded with land mines, and constant surveillance by drone aircraft armed with cluster bombs.
And before long, Californians wanting to go to the Kaiser Tijuana Medical Center would have to get there by way of Cuba.