America has the best health care in the world. Just ask Brock Lesnar, who can afford it! Or Joe Stevenson, who can’t and has to go to Mexico where you don’t have to take a mortgage out on your home (if your home is still worth something) to afford some x-rays:
He went because he didn’t have health insurance, and X-rays on his knee proved cheaper across the border. Stevenson is just one of many fighters who doesn’t have health insurance and meets his health needs by hook or by crook while often relying on a network of friends and sympathetic professionals to receive medical care.
This is the part of MMA you rarely hear about, but Stevenson recounts the details of this weekend like it were any other. The trip took all day on Friday, and he got back in time to watch the fights in San Diego. He said the Tijuana checkup was also much easier down south because he’s friends with the city’s district attorney.
The former lightweight contender once had health insurance through his wife, Maia, but lost it when she stopped working after giving birth to their second son. At one point, he applied for health insurance and listed his occupation as “Fighter.” He said the premium he was quoted was more than $500 a month.
And before that, an overconfident Stevenson thought he simply wouldn’t need coverage and could avoid injury. “I’m going to have to take full blame for that,” Stevenson joked.
Stevenson now is working with a new accountant who’s going to help him set up a corporation. He can use it to gain easier access to health insurance. He’ll also consult with his manager on whether surgery is necessary.
This is nothing new … it’s a well known untalked about phenomena in American MMA that barely anyone has health insurance, which is pretty crazy when your job involves putting your body through a never ending meat grinder of training / fighting. Bloody Elbow rages against the machine:
In a world where Dana White takes some part of his share of the fan’s money and blows as much as $500,000 in one night gambling, there is a way to insure the top fighters. In fact, if Dana were to take one night’s gambling losses he could likely insure about 100 UFC fighters for a year.
I’m not so sure … insurance companies are extremely adept at making sure they don’t insure people that might *gasp* actually make claims so I’d imagine it would take at least six days of gambling, two saber tooth tiger skulls, and three lightly used Ferraris to begin covering the bill for fighter insurance. I’ll happily say the UFC could do better, but at the same time … America: Your insurance / health care system is fucked, and that’s the real problem here.