New research has revealed horrific data that every year 530,000 families are forced to file for bankruptcy for not being able to pay medical bills. After all, it’s easier to declare bankruptcy than to drown in medical debt.
According to the American Public Journal of Health (APJH), the results of a new study indicate that “the financial cost of disease to American families” may actually be worse than the jokes. For example, a Nobel laureate had to sell his medal to pay medical bills.
The American Public Journal of Health, citing the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reports that medical bills are the main type of unpaid bills.
When it comes to bankruptcy, researchers cite bankruptcy court records from 2013 to 2016, the end result of which shows that 66.5% were associated with medical problems. In other words, they could not pay for their medical services. Because these services were too expensive for them from the very beginning, or because they had to take work leave due to illness and as a result they did not receive a salary.
The study also found that 58.5% of bankruptcies are caused precisely by medical bills, and 44.3% of bankruptcies are associated with loss of income due to illness.
The fact that 530,000 families each year file for bankruptcy due to medical bills hurts the national interest. Following the adoption of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), an affordable health insurance program, this issue has remained as urgent as it was long before the adoption of this act.
Indeed, the results of the AJPH study say “Although the ACA has increased its coverage of affordable health services, the rate of bankruptcy due to medical costs has not decreased.”
David U. Himmelstein, appeared in the press with Physicians for the National Health Program (PNHP). He said, “If you are not as rich as Bill Gates, there is only one serious illness that separates you from bankruptcy.”
Middle class status won’t save you
“For middle class Americans, health insurance offers little protection. Most of us have policies with so many loopholes, copays and deductibles that illness can put you in an almshouse, ”said David W. Himmelstein.
In fact, medical bills bankruptcy represents the fall of the middle class. The researchers note that despite health care reforms, middle-class Americans have been hit by increased co-payments and deductibles. In the meantime, this law has helped the poor, who, despite their poverty, are more protected from bankruptcy, since they have fewer resources, they usually do not choose bankruptcy.
The seriousness of the problem is that the middle class in America could die out, both figuratively and literally. The researchers found that people who filed for bankruptcy on the basis of medical bills were in very poor health. Due to financial problems, they “often missed necessary medical procedures and medications.”
Medical reform, of course, did not solve the problem, or something went wrong after the adoption of the law.
According to Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, lead author of the study and lecturer in medicine at Harvard, “ACA was a step forward, but the needs of $ 29 million are still unmet and the partial insurance policy is spiraling out of control, spreading like an epidemic. We need to move from ACA to Medicare, a single-payer, comprehensive health insurance scheme for everyone that will cover everyone from the first dollar. But the Trump administration and Republicans in some states are leading us in the opposite direction: they cut Medicare, threaten to withdraw the protections of more than 61 million Americans with previously set conditions. They also allow insurers to trade in reduced insurance packages that do not provide real protection. ”