Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Medical costs contribute to half of bankruptcies

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Jun• 05•07

According to a 2005 Health Affairs article by Himmelstein et al. (“Illness And Injury As Contributors To Bankruptcy“), about half of all individuals filing for personal bankruptcy cite medical expenses as one of the major causes.   A lapse in insurance coverage contributed to many of these high medical expenses which lead to the bankruptcy.

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  1. Josh says:

    You’re joking right? I normally enjoy reading your blog, but you can’t honestly publish dribble like this and pass it off as fact. right??

    This is one of the classic “should not have been published” articles except for the fact that it gives the left a great sound bite to bitch about American health care.

    Medical Bankruptcy: Myth Versus Fact

    “David Himmelstein and colleagues recently contended that medical problems contribute to 54.5 percent of personal bankruptcies and threaten the solvency of solidly middle-class Americans. They propose comprehensive national health insurance as a solution. A reexamination of their data suggests that medical bills are a contributing factor in just 17 percent of personal bankruptcies and that those affected tend to have incomes closer to poverty level than to middle class. Moreover, for national health insurance to have an impact, it would have to define “medical” expenses in a much broader way than is now typical of either private or government-funded plans.”

    Seriously, if we’re going to have a legitimate discussion on HC systems, both sides need to play fair.

    Oh, and the answer is the free market. Not socialism.

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