by Frank Lewis
A new study confirms that medical bills are a key factor in most personal bankruptcies, and notes that the trend is on the rise. That's not new, but this is:
Medical insurance isn't much help, either. About 78% of bankruptcy filers burdened by healthcare expenses were insured, according to the survey, to be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Medicine.
"Health insurance is not a guarantee that illness won't bankrupt you," said Steffie Woolhandler, one of the authors, a practicing physician and an associate medical professor at Harvard.
"Lots of health insurance comes with big co-payments, deductibles and uncovered services," she said. "So you can be insured and still end up with big bills. At the same time, even if you have good insurance through your employer, you can lose it if you get sick and can't work."
Most people who filed medical-related bankruptcies "were solidly middle class before financial disaster hit," the study says. Two-thirds were homeowners, and most had gone to college.
The whole article is here. Share it with any conservatives you know who like to argue that those who end up in financial dire straits must have made bad choices, or that healthcare reform is just a socialist scam. — Frank Lewis