The Myth of Medical Bankruptcy

Left-leaning advocates of national health insurance are fond of saying more than half of all bankruptcies are due primarily to medical bills. Aparna Mathur, a scholar for the American Enterprise Institute, testified before the House Judiciary Committee that the correct figure falls somewhere between 16 percent and 29 percent.  Read her paper here.

Comments (3)

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  1. Joe S. says:

    I thought we had already put this myth to bed. Suppose a few more stakes in the heart can’t hurt.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    Single-payer advocates rely on an overly broad definition of medical bankruptcy. In their most recent study, nearly half of all reported medical bankruptcies were based on unverified, self-report. In other words, you could accumulate all manner of consumer debt. But when a sprained ankle results in a trip to the ER, the patient could blame health care bills as the cause of a bankruptcy. Indeed, losing two weeks worth of pay due to illness in a two-year period was also deemed to be a medical cause of a subsequent bankruptcy.

  3. Ken says:

    It’s not just single-payer advocates, Devon. President Obama cites these phoney statistics all the time.