They have health insurance and they're still driven to debt


The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research released a report - "The State of Health Insurance in California."

Highlights (or lowlights):

More than 2.2 million California adults report having medical debt, and two-thirds of those incurred the debt while insured.

In total, nearly one in seven non-elderly adults in California (13 percent) have some kind of medical debt, and more than 800,000 Californians have medical debt greater than $2,000.

Individuals with medical debt are twice as likely as those without debt to delay or forgo needed health care, the report found.

"That even insured people are forced to take on medical debt to pay for their health care is another glaring inadequacy in our current system of health insurance," said E. Richard Brown, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and lead author of the SHIC report. "Current policies either do not offer enough coverage or offer full-coverage at a cost that is too expensive for many people to bear."


I have been an RN for more than 40 years. These statements are so true. It's hard to understand how the public can be so ignorant when it comes to this issue. How can anyone not recognize the need for reform? What I would suggest is that anyone who states they are happy with their health insurance (for profit health plans)try to list 10 things their health insurance plans have done for them in the past year. My bet is that they would not be able to list one thing. On the other hand, I bet they can list 10 difficulties they had with their health plans over the past year!

We need reform, and we need a public option. I actually believe we need a system like Kaiser Permanente throughout the country. I have been a member for 33 years, and will remain a member until I leave this world!!

Very interesting and alarming report. 2.2 million people in medical debt, with nearly 2/3 insure is sobering but not surprising. My wife has been under treatment for back and neck disk issues for the last two years. We have insurance, but we also accumulated significantly more than $2,000 in medical debt. Caps and max percentages add up very quickly with the need for sustained care.

There is no doubt that our overall health care system *needs* to be reformed. I am very much in favor of eliminating waste and fraud, tort reform, more competition across states lines, widening the reach of medicare/Medicaid and some form of national small business cooperative. Whew that is a lot! If we could just do the things I mentioned, our system would be be much improved IMHO.


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on September 2, 2009 12:20 PM.

Wendell Potter apologizes for cheating people out of health care reform was the previous entry in this blog.

Pfizer felony & record $2.3B fine: Will they talk about this at the Pfizer-funded journalism training workshop? is the next entry in this blog.

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