Americans Owe $140 Billion in Medical Debt to Collection Agencies

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that Americans now have over $140 billion in unpaid medical bills owed to collection agencies. The figure is nearly twice as high as the most recent data from several years ago. But the country’s total medical debt is even higher, as the $140 billion does not include bills owed directly to health providers or credit card debt from medical expenses. Republican-run states that chose not to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act had the highest debts.

domestic empire says:

Don’t Let It Happen Here

If the Tories get their way and push through privatisation of the NHS, UK citizens will similarly face mountainous debt. The health of the UK should not be in private hands. The NHS is public property, and must remain so. Vote to protect the NHS. Vote out Tories.

Sources:

Medical Debt in the US, 2009-2020 (American Medical Association)

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2782187

Goodbye To WhatsApp!

Yes It’s Time To Ditch WhatsApp!

WhatsApp logo

And it’s goodbye to WhatsApp!

Following today’s announcement that WhatsApp plans to “..begin sharing more data with Facebook and will start letting some companies send messages to users.”, it’s high-time to look elsewhere and ditch WhatsApp for good.

Facebook bought the messaging app WhatsApp for $19bn (£11.4bn) in 2014.

As of February 2016, WhatsApp had a user base of one billion, so that’s a lot of people to spam with useless crap they don’t need.

“When WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook it was able to reassure users that it would remain independent,” said Pamela Clark-Dickson, principal analyst at Ovum, an independent analyst and consultancy firm based in London.

“Now it’s giving Facebook phone numbers – some might say that’s a betrayal of trust. In a small way, it has gone back on what it said it wouldn’t do.”

There is an opt-out procedure, but can we trust facebook?

UPDATE:
Whatsapp investigated by Government over Facebook data sharing (independent.co.uk)

Alternatives

Here, try Open Source. It’s free, and better for you.
And don’t forget kids, Never trust The Man.

Android Open Source alternatives for WhatsApp at Alternativeto.net
http://alternativeto.net/software/whatsapp/?license=opensource&platform=android

Iphone Open Source alternatives for WhatsApp at Alternativeto.net
http://alternativeto.net/software/whatsapp/?license=opensource&platform=iphone

Ref:

WhatsApp users to receive adverts (BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37184651

How do I choose not to share my account information with Facebook to improve my Facebook ads and products experiences? (whatsapp.com)
https://www.whatsapp.com/faq/general/26000016

Whatsapp (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whatsapp

Open Source (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software

Sweat Shops & Complicit Fashion Industry

Dying for a Bargain - BBC Panorama - b03bvmyf
Panorama investigates how our clothes – including those of some big high street brands – are really made. It finds evidence of shocking working conditions and an industry that still puts profit before safety.

More than a thousand garment workers died when the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed in April. But reporter Richard Bilton discovers people working 19-hour days, security guards who lock in the workers and factory owners who hide the truth from western retailers.

Panorama – Dying for a Bargain
Mon 23 Sep 2013 20:30 BBC One
Thu 26 Sep 2013 04:30 BBC News Channel
Fri 27 Sep 2013 01:20 BBC Two

Further Reading
11 Facts About Sweatshops
“In developing countries, an estimated 250 million children ages 5-14 are forced to work.” – DoSomething.org

Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops
“We love fashion. But the clothes we buy in the UK come at a terrible cost.” – War On Want

Sweatshops still make your clothes
If you care about ethical labour standards, your clothing choices are more limited than you might think.” – Salon

Was your T-shirt made in the Dhaka garment factory? You have no idea
“The thing about clothes, as with the processed mince that turned out to be horsemeat, is that supply chains are long.” – The Guarduan

Bangladesh building collapse – in pictures The Guarduan

Rescue workers carry a young victim's body out from the rubble

Photograph: A.M. Ahad/AP