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

False Vaccine Efficacy Figures Revealed by Lancet Peer Review

The Lancet Peer reviewed study confirms vaccine efficacy, not as 95% stated by the vaccine companies who have deceived everyone by reporting Relative Risk Reduction (RRR) rather than Absolute Risk Reduction (ARR). but as:

The Lancet Peer reviewed study confirms vaccine efficacy as follows.

Astra Zeneca 1.3%

Moderna 1.2%

J&J 1.2%

Pfizer 0.84%

Source:

COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and effectiveness—the elephant (not) in the room
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247

Download or read the results of the study directly from The Lancet in PDF: https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2666-5247%2821%2900069-0

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BBC Under Ofcom Investigation For Bias

BBC Bias (dis)Content Warning by domestic empire

The national broadcaster is frequently criticised for abandoning impartiality to act as a government mouthpiece. Ofcom considers accusations substantial enough to require investigation of the Corporation’s practices.

Source: Breaking: BBC under Ofcom investigation for bias

Disability groups are deeply concerned about a dangerous mental capacity bill rushed through parliament

The Tories have quietly pushed through a bill that seriously weakens the rights of people deemed lacking mental capacity.

The government has succeeded in quietly pushing through a bill that seriously weakens the rights of 300,000 people with learning difficulties, brain injuries and autism.

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill – which passed in the House of Commons on Tuesday, without key amendments that would have added vital safeguards – has received little media attention or public scrutiny, but disability organisations like mine are worried it could undermine key freedoms that, instead, urgently needed to be strengthened.

The Tories first announced last summer that they would seek to pass a reform to the Mental Capacity Act 2005. While disabled people and their organisations are in agreement that reform is needed, the bill presented was immediately flagged as a dangerous threat to the rights of people deemed to be lacking mental capacity.

Last year Inclusion London started a petition asking people to support our call to protect the freedoms of people receiving care and support. The petition has nearly 200,000 signatures. But despite criticism from disabled people, advocates, lawyers, professionals, and academics, the bill continued its rapid passage through Parliament without pause.

The Minister for Care, Caroline Dinenage MP, wrote to us in an attempt to mitigate some of our concerns and invited us to meet with her in early February. Neither the letter nor the meeting convinced us that the bill will adequately protect disabled people’s human rights, and our key concerns remain.

There are serious conflicts of interest as to who has the power to make important decisions about a person’s deprivation of liberty inherent in the bill, and this could mean that people are forced to live in care homes or be physically or medically restrained if it’s an easier or cheaper option for a local council or service provider.

There are also issues with access to advocacy and the right to information. Not everyone will have the right to an independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA) – there’s an assumption friends or relatives can act as an advocate. This should never be the default option, everyone should be entitled to an IMCA. Not all relatives will act in an individual’s best interests nor can they be expected to understand a complex system.

Finally, there has been a very short period of time for members of the public to voice their thoughts or concerns with the bill. The government failed to put the bill into easy read format, to make it more accessible to people with learning difficulties, until just two weeks ago. Easy read is a format designed for the people most likely to be affected by the bill.

Repeated requests for accessible information about the bill have been ignored over the last 6 months. One can only conclude that people with learning difficulties have been disregarded as valid stakeholders in this process. This is an unacceptable situation and one that would be politically and culturally unacceptable if applied to other communities.

We believe it’s unacceptable that the government ignored all requests to pause, engage and listen to our key concerns. Two hours for MPs to debate the Mental Capacity Amendment Bill is just the latest example of poor law-making that will weaken the human rights of disabled people in some of the most vulnerable situations.

Via Ellen Morrison | leftfootforward.org

Ellen Morrison works for Inclusion London, which supports deaf and disabled people’s organisations across the capital.