Wow. This is incredible:
Medical bills are involved in more than 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies, an increase of 50 percent in just six years, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.
Amazing to me is that of these bankrupt people whose bankruptcy involved medical bills, 75% of them have health insurance!
More than 75 percent of these bankrupt families had health insurance but still were overwhelmed by their medical debts, the team at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University reported in the American Journal of Medicine.
The researchers further noted:
“Using a conservative definition, 62.1 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92 percent of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5,000, or 10 percent of pretax family income,” the researchers wrote.
“Most medical debtors were well-educated, owned homes and had middle-class occupations.”
The researchers, whose work was paid for by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said the share of bankruptcies that could be blamed on medical problems rose by 50 percent from 2001 to 2007.
“Unless you’re Warren Buffett, your family is just one serious illness away from bankruptcy,” Harvard’s Dr. David Himmelstein, an advocate for a single-payer health insurance program for the United States, said in a statement.
We need a single payer plan or Medicare for all, in order to deal properly with this problem. Programs that the Obama administration are developing involve keeping private insurers intact and mandating that all people buy health insurance. This sort of plan won’t work as has been amply exemplified in numerous states attempts to implement such a program. Massachusetts is the latest state to try and fail. Under Mitt Romney (Mormon brother, political enemy) this sort of a plan was instituted in Massachusetts but has had many problems. You can read all about the failure of the Mass. plan here:
I am a member of Physicians for a National Health Program and find their website a valuable tool for discerning the facts in the debate over what course our country should take with regards to health care. You can find that site here:
In spite of recent polls which show that the majority of physicians and of the public favor single payer health care, the topic is not even anywhere near the agenda in the Obama administration. The insurance companies are too powerful to allow that sort of talk.