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The Tally Ho

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Health costs spur bankruptcy

Nico sent me this Reuters article, Study: Health costs spur bankruptcy, this morning.
"Our study is frightening. Unless you're Bill Gates you're just one serious illness away from bankruptcy," said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who led the study. "Most of the medically bankrupt were average Americans who happened to get sick. Health insurance offered little protection."


The researchers got the permission of bankruptcy judges in California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas to survey 931 people who filed for bankruptcy.

"About half cited medical causes, which indicates that 1.9 to 2.2 million Americans (filers plus dependents) experienced medical bankruptcy," they wrote.

"Among those whose illnesses led to bankruptcy, out-of-pocket costs averaged $11,854 since the start of illness; 75.7 percent had insurance at the onset of illness."

The average bankrupt person surveyed had spent $13,460 on co-payments, deductibles and uncovered services if they had private insurance. People with no insurance spent an average of $10,893 for such out-of-pocket expenses.

"Even middle-class insured families often fall prey to financial catastrophe when sick," the researchers wrote.

Nico's comment
When it comes to healthcare, the "most powerful,"
"most advanced" country in the world is like a 3rd world country...insured people are bankrupt from healthcare costs! Unreal

FDR said
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little"

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