Medical bills and bankruptcy
Wendell Potter points to a study on medical debt as a major component of bankruptcies:
One of the great hopes of health care reform is that it will reduce the number of Americans who file for bankruptcy because of medical debt. A new study in Massachusetts is providing evidence that the reform law passed in that state in 2006, and which served as the model for the Affordable Care Act, is indeed making a significant dent in bankruptcy filings.
The study, conducted by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, found that the Massachusetts reform law, often called RomneyCare after then GOP Gov. Mitt Romney, has reduced personal bankruptcies in the state by 20 percent.
In no other country in the developed world is medical debt a leading cause of personal bankruptcy. But in the U.S. it is the leading cause, a phenomenon even FOXBusiness News highlighted in a report last week.
Citing a 2013 study by NerdWallet Health, an online service that helps people make more informed health care decisions, FOX reported that unpaid medical bills were the number one cause of bankruptcy filings in this country, surpassing both credit card and mortgage debt.
Did RomneyCare reduce the price, raise quantity, or raise quality, or did it cause a rise in the cost of living, e.g. through more regulation or the state finding ways to raise revenue.
Maybe, because people had to wait in line for health care, more died and fewer declared bankruptcy.
I’m for any system that increases efficiency. So, consumers can get more for less, rather than a zero-sum shell game or making the system less efficient, to benefit some, at the expense of many.
Simple question. A household bought a Vegas condo for $300k with $0 down in 2006. They bought a brand new Beamer for $80k the same year Three years later the condo is worth $180k, the car is worth $35k and the household gets hit with a $1,500 medical bill.
When asked what CAUSED them to file for bankruptcy they blamed medical bills and it was tallied as such.
PT and Jay,
Ah, very silly comments….try again with something relevant and having to do with the post.
Dan, it’s “very silly” to assume personal medical debt just disappears into another dimension without any other effects.
Would you rather die or get the health care you need and declare bankruptcy?
If I can’t buy health care, because I’m on a waiting list, how can I declare bankruptcy from buying health care?
If the government raises taxes on everyone in the state to pay my medical bills, why would I need to declare bankruptcy?
If too much regulation slows improvements in medical equipment or creation of new drugs, and I die as a result, why would I declare bankruptcy?
If regulations and taxes make the health care I need unavailable, and I don’t buy it, how can I declare bankruptcy,
When the state imposes rationing, people will likely buy less.
Dan: My comment is not silly. You are obviously not familiar with the methodologies used in the literature that claims medical debt is the cause of so many bankruptcies.
So maybe if you actually showed us something besides your anecdote someone would listen? Oh, a stupidly outrageous anecdote.
Check your meds. You are missing something.
How convenient for your point of view, not referring to the actual study…and you are obviously not familiar with the methodology..
“In this paper, we use detailed credit report information on a large panel of individuals to examine the effect of a major health care reform in Massachusetts in 2006 on a broad set of financial outcomes. ”
I am confused by your last comment….MA is rated among the best in medical services and insurance….there are serious problems indicated in trends for medical system in the US, and ACA has and adds its own difficulties, but you take long standing trends and extrapolate from a passive pov.
PT: The ONLY thing made more efficient by deregulation is CORRUPTION, (‘Cause its America, don’tcha see)( Example: The Bust)