If my head didn’t hurt already from a migraine I would have pounded it on my desk. This was on MSNBC this morning.
Sick Americans more likely to be in medical debt
“Despite spending far more on health care than any other country, the United States practically stands alone when it comes to people with illness or chronic conditions having difficulty affording health care and paying medical bills,” Commonwealth Fundpresident Karen Davis said in a statement.
At its most basic level this is what the health care debate should be about – the people who are sick are also the ones who can least afford to pay for medical care. Why? Because they’re sick – they can’t work. Or they are elderly and retired and lost their savings in the recession. Or they are children who don’t work. At a most basic level health care is about figuring out how to get medical care to people who can’t afford to pay for it. There doesn’t really seem to be any room for argument about this. I know there are arguments, but really the facts seem to speak for themselves. If you’re sick and you can’t work, how are you going to pay for doctors and medicine so you can get better? What if you have a medical condition that won’t ever get better? If we can figure this out, then maybe we can fix the mess that is our healthcare system.
Just to be clear – any discussion about healthcare must start with the fact that sick people have a difficult time paying for it. If we don’t begin there then what’s the point?