A fascinating new study helps to illustrate, the urgent need to move away from the for-profit health insurance model. According to a joint study by Harvard University and Ohio State University, sixty percent of US bankruptcies in 2007 were driven by medical bills. What’s really alarming is that 75% of those folks had health insurance.
“Unless you’re Warren Buffett, your family is just one serious illness away from bankruptcy,” Harvard’s Dr. David Himmelstein, an advocate for a single-payer health insurance program for the United States, said in a statement.
“For middle-class Americans, health insurance offers little protection,” he added.
And why is that? Because if you do get sick and need significant treatment, odds are your policy will simply get cancelled. According to the report, a quarter of people lose their insurance coverage immediately when they suffer a disabling illness, and another quarter lose it within the first year. Insurance companies (or employers who offer their own plans) save money by dropping you if you’re too expensive.