Medically bankrupt

Do we really need single-payer health insurance?

According to a new study issued by our friends at the Harvard Medical School, Harvard Law School and Ohio State University, we really do.

Researchers looked at more than 2,000 of bankruptcy filings in 2007 and found that 62 percent of them were related to medical expenses. This means that someone suffered income loss due to their illness and/or the magnitude of their medical debts was too great to overcome. What’s more, most of those who filed for bankruptcy were well-educated, owned homes, and had middle-class occupations. Shockingly, more than three-quarters also had health insurance.

In 2007, even before the current economic downturn, an American family filed for bankruptcy in the aftermath of illness every 90 seconds. The rising number of bankruptcies related to medical bills among the insured tells us that our current system of private insurance is not working. We desperately need a single-payer system that covers everyone, regardless of employment, education or ability to pay.

Expanding private insurance and calling it health reform will not prevent these financial catastrophes for hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. Learn more.