Appallingly, it's true, according to a study by Harvard researchers. And dig this -- the data comes from 2007 BEFORE the current economic meltdown.
Medical problems caused 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. in 2007, according to a study by Harvard researchers. And in a finding that surprised even the researchers, 78% of those filers had medical insurance at the start of their illness, including 60.3% who had private coverage, not Medicare or Medicaid.
Medically related bankruptcies have been rising steadily for decades. In 1981, only 8% of families filing for bankruptcy cited a serious medical problem as the reason, while a 2001 study of bankruptcies in five states by the same researchers found that illness or medical bills contributed to 50% of all filings. This newest, nationwide study, conducted before the start of the current recession by Drs. David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler of Harvard Medical School, Elizabeth Warren of Harvard Law School, and Deborah Thorne, a sociology professor at Ohio University, found that the filers were for the most part solidly middle class before medical disaster hit. Two-thirds owned their home and three-fifths had gone to college.
You get an education, a job, buy a house, pay your taxes, then whoopsie! you or a family member gets sick or injured and the American Dream goes swirling toiletwards.
President Obama pledged to reform the US healthcare system, but he's taking on a helluva industry as well as its fetus-fetishist allies.
I predict (and I really hope I'm wrong) that the so badly needed reforms will come a cropper on the issue of abortion.
Oh. Looky here (emphasis mine):
A bipartisan group of House members is pushing for language to prevent any federal funds in a healthcare reform bill from being used for abortions.
The shriiieeeking nutbars held a MASSIVE online rally yesterday and already have a Stop the Abortion Mandate website set up. Because, you know that if the government is funding abortions, it's a mandate and everyone will be forced to get one, even the guys.
Any significant reform will be beaten by the intense lobbying and deep pockets of the insurance industry, but the loss will be spun as part of the Culture Wars.
Here's my reason for believing this. In all the polling the fetus fetishists do, even here in abortion-crazy Canada, the question that consistently comes up 'best' for their interests is 'Should abortions be publicly funded?'
We recently reported on a Canadian poll, that while demonstrating yet again that overwhelmingly Canadians are cool with the status quo on abortion, the public funding question came closest to a tie between pro-liars and pro-choicers. In that poll, 49% of Canadians agreed that abortion should be publicly funded, with 47% opposed. Still a majority, but way closer than on any other abortion-related question.
So, they'll shriieeeek and stamp their tiny feet and squeal about 'our tax dollars funding the murder of baybeez' and all you medically bankrupt Americans and all you future ones can thank your local zygote zealot for crapping all over any chance for a sane healthcare system in your country.
Or, maybe in the time-honoured manner of all pols, the women and children will get thrown under the bus when the going gets politically tough and reproductive health services will be left out of any expanded coverage.