By Bill Maher
A couple of weeks ago on Real Time, Jack Kingston told us about all the people who come into the United States seeking medical treatment from "the best healthcare system in the world." Not only is this oft-parroted argument out of touch, it's actually out of date: For several years, the number of people leaving the United States for medical care has outnumbered people coming in, and that gap is growing.
According to a study by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, it breaks down like this: Inbound medical tourism is growing, but slowly. Somewhere between 60,000 and 85,000 came here to seek treatment in 2008, and the number is projected to grow to slightly over half a million by 2017. But outbound medical tourism, Americans going abroad, was 750,000 in 2007, a big uptick from the year before. And the number ballooned to 1.3 million Americans in 2008.