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Obamacare will probably significantly increase bankruptcies

  • Published in Letters

To The Daily Sun,
So many false claims have been made for Obamacare that I did some research about medically caused bankruptcies. What I found indicates that Obamacare will probably INCREASE, not decrease, medically caused bankruptcies.
"Bankruptcy facts": "63 percent of filers blamed credit card bills. 50 percent blamed mismanagement. 37 percent blamed pay cuts or job loss, and 28 percent blamed medical bills." And, "89 percent of filers still get credit card offers on a regular basis." (see: http://goo.gl/vH12Fw).

In her book "The Fragile Middle Class...", (now Senator) Elizabeth Warren claims that two out of three bankruptcy filers have lost a job and 40 percent of bankruptcies result from medical crises, unemployment or divorces. (http://goo.gl/vH12Fw)
"The primary cause of personal bankruptcy is a high level of consumer debt often coupled with an unexpected insolvency event such as the loss of a job, a major medical expense not covered by insurance, divorce, or death of a spouse (Groupp, Scholz, and White, 1997, Buckley and Brinig, 1998 and Nelson, 1999.)
In summary, bankruptcy is usually the result of an unexpected event which happens to people who already have considerable debt. Going for the sensational or showing political bias, headline writers and some authors blame bankruptcies on medical bills even when medical bills are a small part of a person's total debt.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is the size of the medical debt causing bankruptcy. "On average, medically bankrupt families had $17,943 in out-of-pocket expenses, including $26,971 for those who lacked insurance and $17,749 who had insurance at some point." (http://goo.gl/ZD4CCJ )
Having bankruptcies caused by this level of debt says more about our nation's failing economic policies that don't create decent jobs and our failing education system that doesn't teach the skills needed to earn a good living and responsibly manage finances than it says about health insurance or America's medical care.
Unfortunately the new Obamacare insurance deductibles are in the range of $6,250 per person and $12,500 per family, much greater than with most of today's policies. An accident or illness with these high Obamacare deductibles could easily result in bankruptcy, especially if medical expenses require paying multiple years' deductibles.
So many Obamacare claims are false that I should not have been surprised to find another lie. But, I was shocked to find that Obamacare will probably significantly increase bankruptcies. This is just another example of how Obamacare, like so many of President Obama's policies, hurts middle income Americans.

Don Ewing