Tom Maguire is deeply skeptical about the latest study intended to stampede the country into socialized medicine, this one claiming even health insurance doesn't protect you from bankruptcy.
The particularly alarming news from the new study is that not even people with health insurance can escape financial disaster:
More than 75 percent of these bankrupt families had health insurance but still were overwhelmed by their medical debts, the team at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University reported in the American Journal of Medicine.
"Unless you're Warren Buffett, your family is just one serious illness away from bankruptcy," Harvard's Dr. David Himmelstein, an advocate for a single-payer health insurance program for the United States, said in a statement.
Of course, this reverses the horse and cart - even if it is true that people who go bankrupt had serious medical problems first, it does not follow that everyone with a serious medical problem goes bankrupt.
in any case, among the many excellent points made by Prof. Zywicki was this:
Moreover, it is well-understood that debtors who are falling into bankruptcy pick and choose which debts they pay, paying down their mortgage or nondischargeable debts for instance, while not paying their unsecured debts, such as medical and credit card debt. So the fact that the medical debts were unpaid says little, because it may reflect strategic payment of debts prior to bankruptcy.