Over 60% of US Bankruptcies Involve Medical Bills


For a Free Scotland
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 Thursday.
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.
"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."
"Unless you're Warren Buffett, your family is just one serious illness away from bankruptcy,"
Medical Bills Underlie 60% of US Bankruptcies: Study - Healthcare * US * News * Story - CNBC.com

The US consumer is crippled by medical costs due to the broken healthcare system this country has. It doesn't matter that we make more per capita than Europe- we don't have anywhere near the safety net.


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Hey, I was going to post this. :) I've also read that while wages have remained stagnant, the amount employers pay in medical insurance has gone up, which suggests healthcare costs are holding wages down, and thus perhaps economic growth.


Registered Member
It costs an auto company $2000 per car more to produce that car in the USA than in Canada in health care costs alone. This makes America uncompetitive and something absolutely must be done to fix this problem before there is no more industry left in the country.


Hell, It's about time!
It costs an auto company $2000 per car more to produce that car in the USA than in Canada in health care costs alone. This makes America uncompetitive and something absolutely must be done to fix this problem before there is no more industry left in the country.
Get rid of the Unions and stop taxing companies to death. Also get rid of capital gains tax.

I really don't see how you can tax and spend your way into prosperity.

Kaz I just wanna know what makes you think that more government is going to fix anything? These retards can't even send me proper car registration and you trust them to take care of your health care too?

Look what they did to the auto industry. They pumped billions of dollars into them... if that worked why did GM file bankruptcy, why did Chrysler go in the tank, why did Pontiac go in the tank?

The solution is to STOP TAXING!!!!!!!!!!!

It's really not that fuggin hard :rolleyes:

I was just talking to a buddy Friday at work that had to go in for a tooth pull and he went to a PA state run clinic... (i.e. free) and he had to wait 3 weeks to be seen. He could have gotten sick and/or died from an infection because of it. I had the same problem, I got two root canals and two crowns put on. I was seen in 2 days. I could have come in the same day, but my schedule prevented that. Thats the difference between free market health care and state run health care.

The reason they are different is simple:

In state run health care there is a cap on spending. The state only pays so much, and when they do there are cut backs (i.e. staff, supplies, new hospitals and clinics) That means if you have a non-life threatening condition you have to sit and wait for weeks to be seen. Not so in free market health care. Do I advocate for paying 4,700 dollars for a double root canal? Of course not, but I think the problem with that is all the ridiculous (not to be confused with necessary) rules, regulations, taxes and insurance for stupid malpractice suits.

Get rid of that crap and you can cut costs in half easily, in addition insurance rates would drop and more insurance companies would be willing to pay more for your premium.

The last point about free market health care is that most hospitals are private, while almost all state run hospitals are publicly funded. As a result, private hospitals compete for patients, thus lower costs to attract business. State run hospitals "don't fund excess capacity"... they have no incentive to compete because they are getting a free check from Uncle Sam. Thus a shortage.


not a plastic bag
I don't think the free market on the payer side has been given a fair shot. In the past 6 years I have moved from the private sector into my own business and have gone from:
  • having full coverage with a minimum deductible to
  • having no coverage a relying on health clinics($0 deductible) to
  • being self insured with HSA's (catastrophic insurance, pay per visit)

When you have to pay the doctor upfront for every visit, you treat things a lot differently than when you only pay the doctor $20 or pay the doctor $0.
I believe the solution almost always lies with turning the system over to the individual person. The invisible hand of capitalism will find the solution. Instead of companies proving insurance coverage, if they gave employees $10,000 and said here's your medical coverage, go get covered, people would demand lower prices and better service.

The problem now is we are sort of mixing free markets with collectivism. Doctors and hospitals operate on a free market system, but the vast majority of patients operate as a collective group. Turn the market loose.


/ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5
It's their fault Kaz, if they really took care of their health then they wouldn't have been so sick as to need medical care that costs too much compared to what they can afford to pay. :stare: