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

Conservative’s Plans Will Damage Public Services and UK Economy

“Today’s Institute for Fiscal Studies assessment of the Conservatives is clear: their plans would damage our economy and public services. They also confirm that the Tories have not specified any additional funding for the NHS, meaning a continued crisis in our health service if they are re-elected next month. The Tories plans on schools will mean continuing to sell away our future, with continued real terms cuts to per pupil spending.

The only numbers we saw in the Tory manifesto were the page numbers. But what has become clear today is the choice at this election – continued austerity and falling living standards under the Tories, or higher wages and increased investment in our public services and infrastructure under Labour.”

“What has become clear today is the choice at this election – continued austerity and falling living standards under the Tories, or higher wages and increased investment in our public services and infrastructure under Labour.”

via Jeremy Corbyn for PM
Institute for Fiscal Studies report.

Court rules that Tory NHS Bill was a violation of 2010 Manifesto

“Below is the full judgement of the Information Tribunal into the Lansley’s appeal of the Information Commissioner’s November order to publish the NHS Risk Register after Labour MP & former Shadow Health Secretary John Healey’s initial requests to do so back in June 2011. In this case the court unanimously decided that the NHS Bill was contrary to the Tory manifesto, unexpected, rushed, far reaching, pre-judged and without proper consultation. In effect, the judgement implies that the Tories cynically hid their plans to carve up the NHS prior to the 2010 election. You and I knew that of course, but to read it in black & white from a court judgement is truly unprecedented. This document below is a devastating indictment of the Tory handling of our democratic process. The judges unanimously ruled the Tory government should release the full contents of the NHS Risk Register.” Source: Dr Éoin Clarke (PhD) The Green Benches

BBC report how government tried to suppress the report
“Last month the government lost a Freedom of Information battle to keep its transitional risk register secret.”

The judgement itself argued that the public interest in understanding the risks involved in this case “would have been very high, if not exceptional” and would have provided the public “with a far better understanding of the risks to a national institution which millions depended on”.

• Read, or download, the complete judgement:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/88129339/Healy-Judgement

• Alternative download link:
Healy judgement PDF document

All this Spin Is Making Me Dizzy

Or,
‘Meanwhile, Back At The NHS’

Stop Government Snooping, scream emotive headlines all the way across civil liberty groups to mainstream media, but are they concentrating on the real story? Yes, I think so. As far as the government press office would have you think.

The alleged new laws under proposals would allow the monitoring of all emails, texts and web use in the UK is a text book example of how a government attempts to manoeuvre focus away from a controversial story by manufacturing an even greater one in its place.

The more dramatic and emotive this slight of hand can be made to appear, the greater its desired effect.

The present uproar concerning privacy, tactically, ironically or perhaps even coincidentally announced on April 1st, is a deliberate ploy of misdirection designed to draw attention away from the genuine story. In this instance it is the break up of the NHS.

Don’t be fooled. As much as the government would love to pass a law that allows them unprecedented access to the private communications of an entire country, such desires are well below those that wish to disband the NHS and in doing so, cream off a tidy profit for themselves and their cronies.

If one looks into the story you will see there’s very little detail there. Just enough to allow people’s imagination to do the rest.

Classic spin. Seems to be working too. They say ‘Jump’ and the media say, ‘Is this high enough?’

Now let’s all get back to the NHS shall we?

Update
Oh look, here’s a surprise: Government retreats on digital ‘Big Brother’ plan. NOW can we can we get back to the NHS?

Links

The fight for the NHS is not over: this is what we need to do now (The Guardian)
Our NHS Future (Facebook Group)
Clinical commissioning group GPs financial links with private providers (False Economy)
GPs’ shares in private healthcare firms prompt conflict of interest fears (The Guardian)
Email and web use ‘to be monitored’ under new laws (BBC News)

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