Wednesday, February 02, 2005

State of the Union 

Unfortunately tonight, we'll get to hear all about our Social Security "crisis" and how successful the Iraqi elections were, but I don't expect to hear a damn thing about the real crisis that we're dealing with-the state of our health care system.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Medical problems played a role in half of all personal bankruptcies, and most people who filed had health insurance at the beginning of an illness, according to a new study.

Researchers cited the pressures of uncovered health expenses and lost income from sickness as primary causes in half of the nearly 1.5 million personal bankruptcies filed in the United States in 2001.

And three-quarters of those who filed a medical-related bankruptcy were insured when their troubles began, according to the study released today by the journal Health Affairs.

"It is like an umbrella that melts in the rain," said Steffie Woolhandler, a Harvard medical professor and a study coauthor. "The insurance is gone right when you need it."
Those are truly scary numbers. It doesn't say much for the state of our insurance plans. I'm sure most that were seeking treatment thought their coverage would take care of them. It isn't just our insurance plans that are the problem though, the rising costs of health care has got to be addressed, it is our real crisis.


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