Medical Bills Bankrupt Canadians at Similar Rates as Americans

A series of papers by long-time single-payer advocates, David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, claim more than half of personal bankruptcies are due to medical bills (critiqued here) and most recently 62.1 percent (critiqued here).

If nearly two-thirds of bankruptcies in the U.S. are really due to medical bills, then we should expect the rate of personal bankruptcies to be one-third of the US rate in Canada, which has a single-payer system of national health insurance financed by tax dollars. However, the Canadian-based Fraser Institute finds that bankruptcy rates in Canada are very similar – if not slightly higher – than rates found in the United States.

Comments (5)

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  1. Joe S. says:

    Fascinating results. Thanks for this post.

  2. Ken says:

    Incredible. This study needs to get widespread attention, but probably won’t. Thank God for this blog.

  3. Larry C. says:

    This is one of the most interesting posts I’ve seen here in a long time.

  4. Tom H. says:

    Even President Obama repeats the medical bankruptcy myth — often.

  5. Beth Haynes, MD says:

    Don’t know if you will get this–but I would love to have the complete reference for the Fraser Institute finding.