Healthcare is Sick

Is there a cure?

Who does health care work for?

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If you are uninsured or underinsured, then American health care is not for you, as extremely high quality care is also extremely expensive.  It’s estimated the uninsured pay more than one-third of their care out-of-pocket, which can easily cripple a family’s finances.  Considering more than two-thirds of the uninsured have family incomes below 200% of the poverty level ($44,050 a year for a family of four), most had meager financial resources to begin with.

Thus without adequate insurance it’s nearly impossible to afford major medical treatment.  Medical bills make the uninsured unable to afford basic necessities almost three times than the insured, while 20% of uninsured adults were forced to use up all or most of their savings in 2009.

Rising health costs the past several years have also put a significant strain on middle class families.  On average, they spend $4,400 a year on health insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-payments, or 9% of their household income, a figure which rises to 22 percent when insurance is bought directly from a private company.

This burden has grown over time. From 2001 to 2006, the percentage of insured middle class Americans facing a high financial burden from health care costs increased from 14 percent to 22 percent.

Medical bills place a severe financial strain on a majority of the population, which hurts the health of the economy in general.  According to a study by the American Journal of Medicine, two-thirds of bankruptcies in 2007 were caused by medical bills.


[1] http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/7806-02.pdf

[2] http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/1420-11-2.pdf

[3] http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/7806-02.pdf

[4] http://www.whitehouse.gov/assets/documents/071009_FINAL_Middle_Class_Task_Force_report2.pdf

[5] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/nyregion/13about.html

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Written by Chris Russell

October 3, 2009 at 4:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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