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Old 12-18-2013, 12:53 PM  
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Medical bills underlie 60 percent of U.S. bankrupts:

Medical bills underlie 60 percent of U.S. bankrupts: study



(Reuters) - Medical bills are behind more than 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday in a report they said demonstrates that healthcare reform is on the wrong track.


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.


"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.


"For middle-class Americans, health insurance offers little protection," he added.


The United States is embarking on an overhaul of its healthcare system, now a patchwork of public programs such as Medicare for the elderly and disabled and employer-sponsored health insurance that leaves 15 percent of the population with no coverage.


The researchers and some consumer advocates said the study showed the proposals under the most serious consideration are unlikely to help many Americans. They are pressing for a so-called single payer plan, in which one agency, usually the government, coordinates health coverage.


"Expanding private insurance and calling it health reform will fail to prevent financial catastrophe for hundreds of thousands of Americans every year," Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen said in a statement.


About 170 million people get health insurance through an employer but President Barack Obama says soaring healthcare costs hurt the economy and force businesses to drop medical insurance for their workers.


CANCELED COVERAGE


"Nationally, a quarter of firms cancel coverage immediately when an employee suffers a disabling illness; another quarter do so within a year," the report reads.


Obama told Congress on Wednesday he was open to making mandatory health insurance part of the overhaul.


Neither Congress nor Obama are considering the kind of single-payer plan advocated by Public Citizen, Himmelstein and his colleague Dr. Steffie Woolhandler.


"We need to rethink health reform," Woolhandler said. "Covering the uninsured isn't enough.


"Only single-payer national health insurance can make universal, comprehensive coverage affordable by saving the hundreds of billions we now waste on insurance overhead and bureaucracy."


The researchers studied 2,134 random families who filed for bankruptcy between January and April in 2007, before the current recession began.
They used public bankruptcy court records and surveyed 1,032 people by telephone.


"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, funded 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.


Patients with multiple sclerosis paid a mean of $34,167 out of pocket in 2007, diabetics paid $26,971, and those with injuries paid $25,096, the researchers found.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/...5530Y020090604
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:32 PM   #16
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And the government is actually subsidizing a lot of the terribleness.
all of it imo. the gov't is in bed with all the $ folks in private industry, hence we have the lobbyist industry. gov't regulated industries such as the food industry are even more corrupt. this stuff is "approved" "food" so it must be food, right... right.

corn subsidies are front and center here. that shit is in everything cheap. the cheaper it is, the more corn product makes it. corn is heavily subsidized by our tax $.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:25 PM   #17
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What, exactly, is the problem with declaring bankruptcy and discharging the debts? In fact, bankruptcy is the ultimate protection against debilitating debt caused by medical bills.

The article makes it sound like bankruptcy involves giving up children, limbs or organs. In a bankruptcy, people keep their residence, vehicle(s), retirement savings, and a host of other things. Bankruptcy doesn't carry the social stigma that it used to, and certainly not in the case of serious illness.

A more likely scenario, particularly in a family with medical insurance, is that medical bills, plus existing debt, plus loss of income from the family member suffering from the illness, resulted in bankruptcy.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:30 PM   #18
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Social stigma's aside, bankruptcy will prevent you from getting certain jobs.
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Old 12-18-2013, 04:00 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by trndobrd View Post
What, exactly, is the problem with declaring bankruptcy and discharging the debts? In fact, bankruptcy is the ultimate protection against debilitating debt caused by medical bills.

The article makes it sound like bankruptcy involves giving up children, limbs or organs. In a bankruptcy, people keep their residence, vehicle(s), retirement savings, and a host of other things. Bankruptcy doesn't carry the social stigma that it used to, and certainly not in the case of serious illness.

A more likely scenario, particularly in a family with medical insurance, is that medical bills, plus existing debt, plus loss of income from the family member suffering from the illness, resulted in bankruptcy.
That's not a solution either. Those costs don't just vanish when the person files bankruptcy. Those costs get passed on to the insurance firm, who in turn passes them right on to the other paying customers. Which drags down the whole system even more. And filing bankruptcy isn't nearly as harmless as you make it out to be.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:08 PM   #20
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That's not a solution either. Those costs don't just vanish when the person files bankruptcy. Those costs get passed on to the insurance firm, who in turn passes them right on to the other paying customers. Which drags down the whole system even more. And filing bankruptcy isn't nearly as harmless as you make it out to be.
What? How does the cost get passed to an insurance company? The insurance company has nothing to do with it. The medical service provider would be one, among many, creditors dividing up the assets, but the health insurance company would play no role.
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:44 PM   #21
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I am 100% against a single pay system. Some of the worst medical care/dental care that I've ever received was done by Military doctors and that's what I fear the level of care will be like.

However, the government needs to cap medical and drug costs big time. There is no reason other than greed that medical costs are through the roof. You can get the same drugs across the border for a fraction of the costs as well as equivalent medical care.

I'm hoping that by the time I retire (16 years) that this medical cost situation is figured out. However, as long as the political parties (both) are in bed with insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and other deep pocketted lobbyist that want to keep the status quo then there isn't much hope.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:48 PM   #22
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Bankruptcy is a protection, not a penalty.

Oh. trndobrd's on it.
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:23 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaa1025 View Post
I am 100% against a single pay system. Some of the worst medical care/dental care that I've ever received was done by Military doctors and that's what I fear the level of care will be like.

However, the government needs to cap medical and drug costs big time. There is no reason other than greed that medical costs are through the roof. You can get the same drugs across the border for a fraction of the costs as well as equivalent medical care.

I'm hoping that by the time I retire (16 years) that this medical cost situation is figured out. However, as long as the political parties (both) are in bed with insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and other deep pocketted lobbyist that want to keep the status quo then there isn't much hope.
We could slip them all a roofie. That would be ironic.
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:38 AM   #24
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Bankruptcy is a protection, not a penalty.

Oh. trndobrd's on it.
So why insure at all? Why wouldn't I just save the money? Maybe I can get a policy that covers up to 5k, and anything higher just claim bankruptcy?
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Old 12-19-2013, 07:57 AM   #25
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I am really late to get on the boat. Could someone explain to me what is a single payer system? What is the pro and con?
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:17 AM   #26
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I am really late to get on the boat. Could someone explain to me what is a single payer system? What is the pro and con?
Single Payer is basically the government handling all medical bills...so medicine would be "free". Many European nations have this. The pros are, you will never be denied coverage (supposedly, though I believe there would be some end of life care that would be denied), no pre-existing conditions. Probably some others. Cons are, the government would run it. Our tax bill would skyrocket to pay for it. There would be no consumer choice involved. You would get the care that the bureaucracy deemed appropriate. Quality of care would diminish significantly.

On and on. It's a utopian idea that would be a total disaster, IMO.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:17 AM   #27
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That's not a solution either. Those costs don't just vanish when the person files bankruptcy. Those costs get passed on to the insurance firm, who in turn passes them right on to the other paying customers. Which drags down the whole system even more. And filing bankruptcy isn't nearly as harmless as you make it out to be.
this
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:19 AM   #28
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So why insure at all? Why wouldn't I just save the money? Maybe I can get a policy that covers up to 5k, and anything higher just claim bankruptcy?

that's pretty much where we are
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:22 AM   #29
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So why insure at all? Why wouldn't I just save the money? Maybe I can get a policy that covers up to 5k, and anything higher just claim bankruptcy?
You have my blessing. On this matter I'm pro-choice, even if the democrat government isn't.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #30
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my wife's monthly treatment of a 1hr IV; the medicine is $7500 a pop.

ridiculous
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