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HEALTHCARE, SINGLE PAYER, AND BANKRUPTCY

January 31, 2019

HEALTHCARE, SINGLE PAYER, AND BANKRUPTCY

I posted a piece elsewhere earlier today in which I took issue with an Australian study which argued in favor of monopoly in the U.S. since, they argued, though prices would rise due to lack of competition, such increased costs would be offset by profits paid to shareholders, including those paid to ordinary Americans via their interests in 401 (Ks), and that the result would be a wash. I doubt that result, but even if so, it does not identify either the specific populations or their number who will be excluded from sharing via such a rote and simplistic formula. I wrote the following criticism.

By far the most stock is held by the rich, so with such higher prices the poor and middle classes are contributing to further enrichment of the already rich while simultaneously paying higher prices for monopoly-priced goods and services. Poor and sick people have no 401(K)s; they live in the real world, will thus share in paying higher monopoly prices but not the profits, have medical bills they cannot pay, and are headed for chapter 7s in bankruptcy court.

With 41% of bankruptcy court filings due to medical bills petitioners cannot pay, we should also consider other creditors of the bankrupts who are going to get stiffed with the court’s discharge findings and the losses such other creditors must endure, some perhaps having to themselves take bankruptcy as a result. Everyone suffers when the numbers show that a single payer healthcare system would end all such losses in 41% of the cases. Thus single payer would help many others along with the bankrupts, and while that may not seem like a lot of money in an individual case, the collective loss amounts to billions, enough to negatively affect our GDP, which is another reason for adoption of a single payer healthcare system, like in France with its single payer system – and zero bankruptcies there due to inability to pay medical bills for a simple reason – there are no bills to pay,         GERALD          E

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