Why Americans Need Single-Payer Health Insurance

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Medical bills or related illness contributed to more than 62 percent of personal bankruptcies in 2007, according to a new study. A nearly 50 percent increase from 2001 and not even reflecting the growing number of people who are losing their jobs and insurance as a result of the recession.

A new report in the August issue of the American Journal of Medicine says:

“The U.S. health care financing system is broken, and not only for the poor and uninsured. Middle class families frequently collapse under the strain of a health care system that treats physical wounds, but often inflicts fiscal ones.”

Medical bankruptcies will total an estimated 866,000 this year and involve 2.3 million Americans, based on the current bankruptcy filing rate, the report says.

Perhaps, Dr. David Himmelstein, associate professor of medicine at Harvard said it best:

“Private health insurance is a defective product, akin to an umbrella that melts in the rain. Unless you’re Warren Buffet, your family is just one serious illness away from bankruptcy.”

We cannot allow such injustices to continue. The solution can be found in a single-payer healthcare system — not in private insurance.

This entry was posted in News, Public Health, U.S. and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Why Americans Need Single-Payer Health Insurance

  1. Robster says:

    We need this ASAP. I know if I lost my job or had a serious medical emergency I’d be in trouble.

  2. Aunt Peg says:

    These are shocking numbers.

    I have read many news reports about the role medical illness plays in bankruptcies. I knew it was huge but not this huge.

    Yet, the Congress, led by Sen. Chris Dodd, worked 24/7 to make filing bankruptcy more difficult. I hate him.

  3. libhomo says:

    These are excellent points. It’s also useful to point out that our economy would devote less money to healthcare in a single payer system that provides care for all than we spend on our current system.

  4. Fran says:

    Damn! Call 911

  5. bradfrmphnx says:

    What can I say other than….I agree.

    Whenever you have a middle man you increase the costs. And furthermore, when that middle man must make money for the shareholders that drives the cost more. Include hundreds of millions of dollars for bonuses to executives and you have our current health care system.

    The bonus that was paid to Cigna’s CEO last year, cost everyone enrolled in their health care over $500.00 for that year.

  6. Walk on Socks says:

    The co-pays for our plan are out of sight.

    Non-generic drugs are a bargain at $5.00 each. But, the non-generic brands carry a $30.00 co-pay. The annual physical co-pay is $75.00 and doesn’t cover the cost of a chest x-ray. I’m lucky — I’m healthy but I also know prevention keeps me healthy.

    Each year, the co-pays climb higher and higher. I don’t get it.

  7. jimmy says:

    And yet, we have dirty politicians who are bought by health insurance companies and big pharma (Sen. Max Baucus) who won’t allow Single-Payer a seat at the table. We need a march on Washington DC for REAL healthcare reform.

  8. to the douchebags in congress with their GOVT sponsored medical insurance – this goes in one ear and out their proverbial assholes.

    as long as the health care companies lobby to keep treating health care as a business and privilege – NOTHING will change

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