“A day in the Life of Luis”: The Healthcare system is a joke

Luis Lemus, Co-Sports Editor

Let’s face it: medicine or medical treatment in the U.S. is insanely expensive.

Millions of people will be forced to make a choice between having a medication to keep them alive or starve, and possibly die.

Newsweek says approximately 800 thousand to 1 million people travel to Mexico for medical procedures.

To put it in closer perspective, it costs “from $90 to $250 for one or two” to get fillings replaced, according to asking google.

I put down $75 each and could not feel any happier about paying the bill.

One of the great things of living in Southern California is that Mexico is just a short drive away.

A few years back after being diagnosed with my illness and getting the government insurance, I took a visit to a local dentist.

My mouth was aching and at the time the dentist told me it was going to be around $5,000 for the procedure.

It was a beyond nerve-tingling feeling to take on so much debt, more than the pain itself.

My brother asked after hearing about the price, “why not try TJ?”

We went down to a dentist a few family friends had recommended but the challenge at that time was that it was on the second floor.

Being able to walk around with the assistance of a cane, it wasn’t much of a challenge personally.

But the dentist, after having a seat and hearing my story, thought that it was best if I went to one other office since he felt uncomfortable dealing with my health history.

We thanked him for his time and wasted no time of our own as we headed toward the recommended dentist office.

Thank the heavens for the recommendation, as it was a very clean and professional office right by the government offices and they had a full staff of professionals who were trained around the U.S. and spoke English as well.

One of the staff led me into one of the rooms to take a look at what the issue was, since the office was called to expect my arrival.

They assisted in getting me on the chair and asked to open the mouth so they could get a look at the issue for themselves.

They saw some buildup and spotted the inflammation, the source of the issue and the need of a deep cleaning.

They asked, “cuanto te cobraban por esto?”

“How much were they going to charge for this?”

Replying back “Cinco mil”, “five thousand”, he pulled the seat up and he said with a straight face:

“Esto no es cinco mil dólares de trabajo pero si quieres donar aquí estoy” meaning “This is not $5000 worth of work, but if you are in a donating mood here I am,” and laughed after.

By the time the professionals had done their work, the grand total drone was around $325.

Gleefully paying that price as they said “nos vemos en seis meses”, “See you in six months” was a blessing not only to me personally but also to my pocket.

This trip was to replace the older metal fillings with porcelain ones, as well as the deep-cleaning.

Even though through government assistance offered “deep cleaning” for free that $5,000 left such a sour taste in my mouth that I could not “stand” into another dentist office in the country again.

Waking up at 5 a.m. to make it to the earliest appointment available and dealing with the traffic heading to Tijuana and back will always be worth it, in my opinion.