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American hospital care is so expensive that some employers are paying patients to receive care in other countries, and they're sending an American doctor with them to provide the care, the New York Times reports with Kaiser Health News.

Why it matters: Hospital care costs are so high in America that it makes financial sense for employers to pay their employees to receive care from an American doctor in another country. Think of what that means for the vast majority of Americans who don't have this opportunity.

By the numbers: One patient received a $5,000 payment from her husband's employer in addition to a total knee replacement free of cost-sharing in exchange for having the procedure done in Mexico. The company also covered the travel expenses.

  • The cost to the employer was still less than half of what it would have been in the U.S.
  • The doctor, who flew from Milwaukee to Cancun, was paid 3 times the Medicare rate for performing the surgery.

The big picture: Medical tourism is old news, but a Denver company has seen an opportunity and is organizing treatments abroad.

  • The company, North American Specialty Hospital, has a network of doctors — including the one in the anecdote above — who travel to Cancun on their days off to provide care for American patients.
  • NASH believes that having American doctors will help persuade self-insured employers that the care is high quality, and to offer the option to their workers.

Go deeper: High prescription drug prices drive "pharma tourism" in Mexico

Go deeper

GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley announces run for re-election

Photo: Greg Nash/The Hill/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the longest-serving Senate Republican, announced on Friday that he's running for re-election in 2022.

Why it matters: The GOP is looking to regain control of both chambers of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections. Several Republicans had urged the 88-year-old senator to run to avoid another retirement after five incumbent senators said they wouldn't seek re-election.

China deems all cryptocurrency transactions illegal

A person walking past China's central bank in Beijing in August 2007. Photo: Teh Eng Koon/AFP via Getty Images

China's central bank declared on Friday that all cryptocurrencies are illegal, banning crypto-related transactions and cryptocurrency mining, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: China's government is now following through with its goal of cracking down on unofficial virtual currencies, which it has said are a financial, social and national security risk and a contributor to global warming.

Biden's big bet backfires

Two key dealmakers — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) — leave a luncheon in the Capitol yesterday. Photo: Kent Nishimura/L.A. Times via Getty Images

President Biden bit off too much, too fast in trying to ram through what would be the largest social expansion in American history, top Democrats privately say.

Why it matters: At the time Biden proposed it, he had his mind set on a transformational accomplishment that would put him in the pantheon of FDR and JFK.