Our morally bankrupt Republican members of Congress want more Americans to be medically bankrupt… or so seems to be the logical conclusion from their desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act:
The economy has gotten better since 2010, but we cannot ignore the impact of the ACA helping people pay medical bills that sank their financial boats pre-Obamacare:
The many experts we interviewed also pointed to two other contributing factors: an improving economy and changes to bankruptcy laws in 2005 that made it more difficult and costly to file. However, they almost all agreed that expanded health coverage played a major role in the marked, recent decline.
…“It’s absolutely remarkable,” says Jim Molleur, a Maine-based bankruptcy attorney with 20 years of experience. “We’re not getting people with big medical bills, chronically sick people who would hit those lifetime caps or be denied because of pre-existing conditions. They seemed to disappear almost overnight once ACA kicked in” [Allen St. John, “How the Affordable Care Act Drove Down Personal Bankruptcy,” Consumer Reports, 2017.05.02].
Do what John Thune, Mike Rounds, and Kristi Noem have proposed, make 22 million more Americans uninsured, and more Americans will go broke:
“The evidence here is to the point where it feels like a pretty robust fact,” said Matthew Notowidigdo, an associated professor of economics at Northwestern University who specializes in health and labor economics.
“If you were to roll back the Medicaid expansion, that’s going to lead to more bankruptcies,” he added [Jennifer Calfas, “The Senate Health Care Bill Could Lead to More Personal Bankruptcies,” Time, 2017.06.26].
But apparently Thune is less worried about your personal finances than about his party’s political fortunes and his desire to resist the Democrats’ ultimate rational policy solution:
Thune added that a more dire argument is beginning to circulate among Republican leaders.
“If we don’t get this done and we end up with Democratic majorities in ‘18, we’ll have single payer. That’s what we’ll be dealing with,” Thune said [Burgess Everett, “Inside McConnell’s Plan to Repeal Obamacare,” Politico, 2017.06.22].
Warren Buffett says single-payer would bring down costs for business more than tax cuts would. Canada’s single-payer system keeps Canadians from going bankrupt due to huge doctor and hospital bills (although prescription drugs, dental care, and work income lost due to illness still take a toll). We can build on the Affordable Care Act to solve this problem in America, or we can follow John, Mike, and Kristi’s faith in lies and the slogans of voodoo economics to make medical bankruptcy surge again.