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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 12-19-2013, 08:56 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayze View Post
my wife's monthly treatment of a 1hr IV; the medicine is $7500 a pop.

ridiculous
Just claim bankruptcy. Apparently that's the solution
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:27 AM   #32
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Obamacare should take care of this.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:38 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KILLER_CLOWN View Post
Obamacare should take care of this.
2 people have said this now, with nothing to support the statement. I assume that they are being sarcastic.

Ftr, its possible to discuss issues in this country without turning to partisan slap fights. Obamacare and its issues have been covered in this forum pretty extensively.

To me this article is more about the cost of healthcare than it is about insurance. We all know that medical issues beyond simple doctor visits will test the finances of most of us. Serious medical issues can be financially devastating to a huge majority of us.

Does that bother you? How many of us are ok with the idea of health issues bankrupting people? Even people with good jobs and the good benefits that accompany those jobs.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:49 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief View Post
....

To me this article is more about the cost of healthcare than it is about insurance. We all know that medical issues beyond simple doctor visits will test the finances of most of us. Serious medical issues can be financially devastating to a huge majority of us.

Does that bother you? How many of us are ok with the idea of health issues bankrupting people? Even people with good jobs and the good benefits that accompany those jobs.
THAT is precisely what the anti-Obamacare crowd refuse to understand. It should bother us. Most of us are NOT okay with it. For me, it's similar to FDR's approach to the Depression...something has to be done, because the industry refuses to fix itself (then it was Wall Street, finance, and banking; today it's the medical industry.) In his candid moments, FDR conceded that his programs might not work....that it might need to be changed, that they may have to adjust--but at least someone was trying to fix things. Say what you will about Obamacare, but at least he's trying...and that's good enough for many of us. It sure as hell can't make things any worse for most Americans, despite what the demagogues have been brainwashed into thinking.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:58 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Kotter View Post
THAT is precisely what the anti-Obamacare crowd refuse to understand. It should bother us. Most of us are NOT okay with it. For me, it's similar to FDR's approach to the Depression...something has to be done, because the industry refuses to fix itself (then it was Wall Street, finance, and banking; today it's the medical industry.) In his candid moments, FDR conceded that his programs might not work....that it might need to be changed, that they may have to adjust--but at least someone was trying to fix things. Say what you will about Obamacare, but at least he's trying...and that's good enough for many of us. It sure as hell can't make things any worse for most Americans, despite what the demagogues have been brainwashed into thinking.
I disagree particularly with your last sentence. I think this current attempt is so poorly designed that it will make things worse for most Americans.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:41 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by jspchief View Post
I disagree particularly with your last sentence. I think this current attempt is so poorly designed that it will make things worse for most Americans.
Some believe that that is exactly what it was designed to do so it could be replaced with something that was unacceptable at the time.
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:43 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by ClevelandBronco View Post
Some believe that that is exactly what it was designed to do so it could be replaced with something that was unacceptable at the time.
It's possible. I do believe this may set off a chain of events that end in something real being done. However, I have a hard time believing any politician has the ability to think beyond the next election.
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:52 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspchief View Post
2 people have said this now, with nothing to support the statement. I assume that they are being sarcastic.

Ftr, its possible to discuss issues in this country without turning to partisan slap fights. Obamacare and its issues have been covered in this forum pretty extensively.

To me this article is more about the cost of healthcare than it is about insurance. We all know that medical issues beyond simple doctor visits will test the finances of most of us. Serious medical issues can be financially devastating to a huge majority of us.

Does that bother you? How many of us are ok with the idea of health issues bankrupting people? Even people with good jobs and the good benefits that accompany those jobs.
Yes it sucks, no it will not reel in health care costs. Healthcare costs spiraled out of control long ago and it will only get worse..How can it get better? The problems haven't been addressed?
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:02 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by jspchief View Post
I disagree particularly with your last sentence. I think this current attempt is so poorly designed that it will make things worse for most Americans.
You mean is making things worse for Americans.
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Old 12-19-2013, 02:34 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
You mean is making things worse for Americans.
The fallout has only started.
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Old 12-20-2013, 11:15 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by ClevelandBronco View Post
Some believe that that is exactly what it was designed to do so it could be replaced with something that was unacceptable at the time.

If by that, you mean single payer...that would not be a bad thing for lower income, and even middle class Americans. And, contrary to the histrionic hyperbole, those with the means will be able to purchase additional "coverage" above and beyond the standard government policy--just as they do now, under Medicare.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:03 PM   #42
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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.
countries such as france have the best healthcare in the world. In terms of both policy and quality of care. The money that healthcare costs here does not equal quality, in fact, we are #1 in cost by far and we are ranked in the thirties for quality of care. You cannot say that single payer would mean terrible quality. In fact, the people in other countries with single payer have no complaints over their health care. There is a lot of propaganda out there though, like fox news stuff, that try to make people believe that single payer is communism or evil socialism (lol).
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:42 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
It does, to some degree. Some people without insurance will now be able to get insurance. That will help prevent some of the bankruptcies addressed in the article.

The article also mentions people with MS and diabetes paying $35K out of pocket despite having insurance. There's a good chance they were paying so much out of pocket because because their existing conditions jacked up their premiums or their ailment was exempted, or all they could get was a shitty policy because of their conditions. Obamacare DOES address these issues.
See peeps, help is on the way.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:51 PM   #44
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:08 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InChiefsHell View Post
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.
Medicare is single payer. Do you hear old people clamoring to get rid of it? No. Pretty much the opposite - anytime either side wants to scare seniors about something they threaten it will mess up their medicare. Can't be that terrible quality of care if you're terrified of losing it.

Here's generally where the argument effortlessly switches from quality of care to "duh free ponies".

Also the US pays twice per capita for crappier care than all those European countries with single-payer. Nothing could be worse than our system. "Medicare for all" would be a huge step up in terms of costs and coverage.
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