Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Mexican Government Just Gave Wrestlers Full Health Insurance

Luchadores like Pentagón, Jr. will now get mandatory health coverage in their home country
Photo via 411Mania
Via Fight Network

One of the white whales for pro wrestlers has been captured, at least in Mexico, as professional wrestlers and their families south of the border will receive full, socialized health care. The move will give wrestlers and their family members access to clinics all around the country where they can receive lab studies, basic attention, and imaging (x-rays, MRIs, etc.) without paying full price. The benefits will extend to over 5,000 competitors.

This news is huge since wrestlers have always had trouble getting health insurance in countries without socialized health care. Colt Cabana has detailed his struggles trying to get covered on the Art of Wrestling podcast. Basically, one has to work for WWE in order to hope to get his or her medical expenses covered, and even then, WWE doesn't offer insurance as much as it pays for procedures itself if Vince McMahon doesn't think you've been sucking up that sweet, sweet healthcare too much. You can thank the company's abuse of the independent contractor label for being able to slide through that loophole.

Of course, the United States is struggling to get its own socialized healthcare system going. Obamacare is a start, but it's fraught with peril as Republicans look to gut it or repeal it at every turn, and it's not even the best system it could be. Other countries with vibrant wrestling scenes like the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and Australia all have single-payer systems.

Mexico's new coverage for wrestlers seems to be closer to Obamacare than a single-payer system though. The article doesn't say whether "full coverage" means the government pays for everything or whether the wrestlers would be on the hook for a co-pay. Then again, the wealth disparity between Mexico and the United States is like comparing the operating revenues of a random indie and WWE. I'm of the belief that everyone should have access to affordable healthcare, and in these times of plenty, no one should suffer because they can't get insurance, wrestler or not. But hey, I guess the US can't pay for basic healthcare when it's busy allowing states and municipalities to tax people in order to give rich assholes money to build stadiums they could probably afford by themselves, right?