Shocking New Study Finds That 137 Million Americans Suffered “Medical Financial Hardship In The Past Year”

The healthcare system in the United States is deeply broken, and it is causing massive financial pain for millions of American families.  Previously, I have published articles where I talked about how medical bills are the primary factor in two-thirds of all personal bankruptcies in the United States, and that Americans had to borrow a whopping 88 billion dollars last year to cover medical costs.  This is happening even though more than 90 percent of all Americans have some form of health coverage.  Thanks to soaring deductibles and health insurance policies that are absolutely riddled with loopholes, more Americans than ever are being wiped out by medical bills.  And now a brand new study that was conducted by researchers from the American Cancer Society has discovered that 137.1 million Americans suffered “medical financial hardship in the past year”.  The following comes directly from the study

Approximately 137.1 million (95% CI 132.7–141.5) adults reported any medical financial hardship in the past year. Hardship is more common for material, psychological and behavioral domains in adults aged 18–64 years (28.9%, 46.9%, and 21.2%, respectively) than in adults aged ≥ 65 years (15.3%, 28.4%, and 12.7%, respectively; all p < .001). Lower educational attainment and more health conditions were strongly associated with hardship intensity in multivariable analyses in both age groups (p < .001). In the younger group, the uninsured were more likely to report multiple domains of hardship (52.8%), compared to those with some public (26.5%) or private insurance (23.2%) (p < .001). In the older group, individuals with Medicare only were more likely to report hardship in multiple domains (17.1%) compared to those with Medicare and public (12.1%) or Medicare and private coverage (10.1%) (p < .001).

We are the wealthiest nation on the entire planet, and we should have the greatest healthcare system.

This shouldn’t be happening.

And the conclusion that the study ultimately reached is that things are likely to get even worse as we move into the future

Medical financial hardship is common in the USA, especially in adults aged 18–64 years and those without health insurance coverage. With trends towards higher patient cost-sharing and increasing health care costs, risks of hardship may increase in the future.

When I ran for Congress, I strongly stressed the need for a complete and total overhaul of our healthcare system, but unfortunately our current representatives in Washington don’t seem too interested in that.

Today, many Americans try to avoid our healthcare system as much as possible because they are afraid of being hit with absolutely ridiculous bills.

Just consider the case of 9-year-old Oakley Yoder.  She went for a hike in the woods at summer camp, and a snake bite forced her to go to the hospital

It was dusk as Oakley Yoder and the other summer camp kids hiked back to their tents at Illinois’ Jackson Falls last July. As the group approached a mound of boulders blocking the path, Oakley, then 9, didn’t see the lurking snake — until it bit a toe on her right foot.

“I was really scared,” Oakley said. “I thought that I could either get paralyzed or could actually die.”

So how much do you think her treatment cost?

A few hundred dollars?

A few thousand dollars?

Actually, the total bill was $142,938

Total bill: $142,938, including $67,957 for four vials of antivenin ($55,577.64 was charged for air ambulance transport). The balance included a ground ambulance charge and additional hospital and physician charges, according to the family’s insurer, IU Health Plans.

This is yet another example that shows that our current system needs to be totally dismantled and rebuilt from scratch.

You could buy an entire house for $142,938.

Here are some more facts from a previous article that show just how dramatically the U.S. healthcare system has failed…

3.7 trillion dollars was spent on health care in the United States in 2018.  That breaks down to $10,739 per person.

-If our health care system was a country, it would have the fifth largest GDP on the entire planet.

76 percent of Americans believe that they pay too much for the quality of health care that they receive.

-Out of the 36 counties in the OECD, the U.S. ranks 31st in infant mortality.

-Prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States today.

-Pharmaceutical companies spend approximately 30 billion dollars a year to market their drugs to all of us.

Nearly half of all U.S. doctors are considering leaving the field of medicine, and health insurance companies are the primary reason.

-The median charge for visiting an emergency room in the United States is well over a thousand dollars.

I could go on and on all day, but let me give you just one more example of how flawed our healthcare system has become.

John Kapoor, the billionaire founder of Insys Theraputics, was just found guilty of bribing doctors to prescribe high doses of a painkiller called Subsys

Kapoor oversaw a marketing strategy at Insys that hired doctors as speakers at educational seminars as cover to pay them more than $1m to prescribe high doses of Subsys to patients who did not need it. Prosecutors said the seminars were no more than social gatherings at expensive New York restaurants followed by company sales reps taking the physicians to strip clubs and bars.

Prosecutors showed the jury spreadsheets of payments to doctors and how much the company profited from each bribe. In one instance, the company paid nearly $260,000 to two New York doctors who wrote more than $6m worth of Subsys prescriptions in 2014. Insys employees also posed as doctors to give insurance companies invented diagnoses to get approval for payments for the drug.

In this case justice was done, but the truth is that this sort of stuff happens in the medical world constantly.

Our entire healthcare system is now completely dominated by the pharmaceutical giants, the big health insurance companies and greedy corporate interests.

They don’t care about us.  All they really care about is making as much money as possible, and if people get hurt in the process they are willing to live with that.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

After You Read What They Did To One Elderly Couple, You Will Question Everything About Our Barbaric Healthcare System

Most Americans are just a single illness away from losing everything.  In our country today, medical bills are the number one reason why people go bankrupt, and many of them even had “good health insurance”.  As you will see below, even if you have “good health insurance” you can still be stuck with a $100,000 bill for a single hospital stay.  Our healthcare system does not work, it is absolutely barbaric, and both political parties have completely dropped the ball.  The big health insurance corporations now dominate the entire industry, and they have become masters at finding loopholes that will allow them to wiggle out from having to pay claims.  The entire purpose of these companies is to take in as much money as possible and to pay out as little as they can, and in the process millions upon millions of American families are being financially ruined.

Today I would like to share with you what happened to one elderly couple once the wife got cancer.  The wife actually had really good health insurance through her work, but that didn’t save them from financial disaster.  The following story has been shared all over social media, and it really touched my heart when I read it, and I believe that it will touch yours as well…

Could you imagine having to choose between food or medicine?

Sadly, that is exactly the situation that many elderly Americans find themselves in today.

And it isn’t just elderly Americans that are getting squeezed by this barbaric system.  When a 44-year-old history teacher from Austin, Texas named Drew Calver had a heart attack, he was assured by the hospital that they would “accept his insurance”

The heart attack was a shock for Calver, an avid swimmer who had competed in an Ironman triathlon just five months before.

Despite the surprise, Calver asked from his hospital bed whether his health insurance would cover all of this, a financial worry that accompanies nearly every American hospital stay. He was concerned because St. David’s is out-of-network on his school district health plan. The hospital told him not to worry and that they would accept his insurance, Calver said.

But when he got out of the hospital, the bills started coming, and the hospital claimed that he owed them more than a hundred thousand dollars

$164,941 for a four-day hospital stay, including $42,944 for four stents and $10,920 for room charges. Calver’s insurer paid $55,840. The hospital billed Calver for the unpaid balance of $108,951.31.

What that hospital is doing is morally wrong.  Any hospital that would charge $164,941 for a four-day stay should be immediately shut down and investigated for criminal activity.

You could buy five or six really nice new vehicles or a new home for that amount of money.  There is absolutely no justification for a bill that large.

These hospitals get us when we are at our most vulnerable, and they never tell us what things are going to cost up front.

Then later they stick us with absolutely outrageous bills and they expect us to pay.

When confronted about this ridiculous bill, the hospital initially claimed that “we did everything right”

In a statement, St. David’s HealthCare defended its handling of Calver’s bill and sought to blame the school district and Aetna for offering such a narrow network.

“While we did everything right in this particular situation, the structure of the patient’s insurance plan as a narrow network product placed a large portion of the financial responsibility directly on the patient because our hospital was not in-network,” the hospital said.

But then more media scrutiny came, and the hospital decided that Calver only owed them $782.29

Shortly after this story by Kaiser Health News and NPR was published and broadcast on Monday, St. David’s said it was now willing to accept $782.29 to resolve the $108,951 balance because Drew Calver qualifies for its “financial assistance discount.” In a statement, the hospital said this offer was contingent on Calver submitting his application for a discount based on his household finances.

If you ask me, $782.29 is still pretty outrageous, but it is a whole lot better than $108,951.31.

I can’t imagine how anyone could possibly defend our current healthcare system, but some people actually do.

They tell us that we have the most expensive healthcare system in the entire world because we are getting the best care.

Really?

According to Newsweek, the United States is actually “the most dangerous country in the developed world to give birth”…

The U.S. is the most dangerous country in the developed world to give birth in according to a report.

About 50,000 women are “severely injured” during childbirth, and about 700 women die every year. Half of these deaths could have been prevented, as could the injuries, if correct safety procedures had been followed, according to an investigation by USA Today.

That sure doesn’t sound like “the best care” to me.

Our medical professionals have been trained to offer only two solutions.  Either they will cut you open or they will pump you full of drugs.

Sadly, even our children are being pumped full of pharmaceutical drugs these days…

The investigators found that nearly 1 in 5 kids uses prescription medications. The use of prescription medications was highest among teen girls (28 percent), and boys aged 6 to 12 (26.5 percent).

The most commonly prescribed drugs were asthma medications, antidepressants and stimulants used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Every time either the Republicans or the Democrats come up with a new plan, it almost always results in health insurance premiums going up and the quality of care going down.

Our healthcare system is a complete and utter disaster.  It has devolved into a giant money making scam in which the medical industry systematically sucks the lifeblood out of sick and vulnerable Americans.  The bottom line has become king, and most medical professionals are attracted to the industry these days because of how much money they will make.

In the end, the medical industry should be completely and utterly ashamed of themselves for what they are doing to this country.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

Healthcare Spending Now Accounts For Almost One-Fifth Of The Entire U.S. Economy

Everybody agrees that healthcare costs are way too high.  Back in 1960, healthcare spending accounted for approximately 5 percent of GDP, and by 2020 it is being projected that healthcare spending will account for 20 percent of GDP.  And when you break those numbers down into actual dollars, they become even more staggering.  Back in 1960, an average of $146 was spent on healthcare per person for the entire year, but today that number has skyrocketed to $9,990.  On a per capita basis, we spend far more than anyone else in the world on healthcare.  In fact, we spend almost twice as much as most other industrialized nations on a per capita basis.  Something has gone terribly wrong, and we desperately need to get this fixed.

Just between the years of 1996 and 2013, our spending on healthcare rose by a whopping 900 billion dollars, and it is estimated that healthcare spending now accounts for nearly one-fifth of the entire U.S. economy.  The following comes from the Daily Mail

US healthcare spending rocketed $900 billion between 1996 and 2013, staggering new data reveal.

Americans spend more money on healthcare than any other population, and increasingly so.

By 2013, total healthcare spending hit $2.1 trillion, according to the study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers say that figure has now likely soared to more than $3.2 trillion, which equates to 18 percent of the country’s economy.

So why is healthcare spending going up so much?

Well, the truth is that our population is aging, obesity is certainly on the rise, and medical care has become much more expensive.  In addition, we should acknowledge there are a couple of other major factors that we should acknowledge as well

First, the United States relies on company-sponsored private health insurance. The government created programs like Medicare and Medicaid to help those without insurance. These programs spurred demand for health care services. That gave providers the ability to raise prices. Other efforts to reform health care and cut costs raised them instead.

Second, chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease, have increased. They are responsible for 85 percent of health care costs. Almost half of all Americans have at least one of them. They are expensive and difficult to treat.

As a result, the sickest 5 percent of the population consume 50 percent of total health care costs. The healthiest 50 percent only consume 3 percent of the nation’s health care costs.

Healthcare costs are only expected to rise even more in the years ahead, and so we desperately need to reform our system.

Because as it is, health insurance premiums are becoming completely unaffordable.  According to CNBC, health insurance premiums for plans purchased through an employer will be higher than ever next year…

Next year, employers expect to spend $8,527 per enrolled employee, according to data form the National Business Group on Health. Meanwhile, workers themselves will contribute an average of $2,752 toward their premiums.

And for those that have to purchase their own health insurance, things are even worse.  In fact, it is being projected that the average rate increase for Obamacare plans will be 37 percent in 2018.

When I get elected to Congress, I am going to make repealing Obamacare and fixing our broken healthcare system one of my highest priorities.

We need a system that is focused on the relationship between doctors and patients.  Compared to the rest of the world, we spend way too much on administrative costs, and we desperately need legal reform.  I would like to see Congress legalize the kind of association buying groups that Rand Paul has been proposing, and I would like to see exciting new models such as direct primary care used much more extensively.

There is no way that we should be spending nearly twice as much on healthcare as everyone else in the industrialized world on a per capita basis.  We must streamline the system, and we need to start using some common sense.

Unfortunately, common sense is in short supply in Washington D.C. these days, but hopefully we can start to change that.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

Thanks Obamacare! Health Insurance Premiums Are Projected To Spike Dramatically Once Again In 2018

Are you ready for your health insurance premiums to go up again?  Ever since Obamacare became law, health insurance premiums have been rising dramatically year after year.  In 2016, one study found that the average Obamacare premium rose by about 24 percent, and similar increases have been seen all around the nation in 2017.  As you will see below, large premium hikes are on tap for 2018 as well, and rates are going to continue to rise until lawmakers finally do something about this nightmare.

But even though the Republicans in Congress can’t get their act together, at least President Trump is trying to do what he can on his own

President Trump proclaimed Friday that his goal is to dismantle his predecessor’s health care plan, hours after his administration suddenly announced that it would halt subsidy payments to insurers.

“ObamaCare is a broken mess,” Trump tweeted. “Piece by piece we will now begin the process of giving America the great HealthCare it deserves!”

Of course Democrats are in quite a panic now that the subsidy payments have been shut off.

In fact, one member of the Senate actually accused President Trump of committing “health-care arson”

Trump’s decision, announced Friday after months of criticizing the payments as an insurance industry bailout, will throw in doubt the private insurance exchanges that are part of the Affordable Care Act. Democrats vowed to use year-end negotiations on the federal agency budgets as a leverage point to reinstate the payments, vowing to pin the political blame on Republicans if premiums skyrocket next year.

“This is the equivalent of health-care arson. He is literally setting the entire healthcare system on fire just because the president is upset that the United States Congress won’t pass a repeal bill,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said on “Fox News Sunday.

Actually, if anyone should be accused of destroying our healthcare system it is the Democrats.

Since Obamacare was first passed, many Americans have seen their health insurance premiums more than double.

And more rate increases are coming in 2018.  Here in Idaho, it is being projected that Obamacare premiums will rise next year by an average of 38 percent

Dean Cameron, director of the Idaho state Department of Insurance, announced today that health insurers offering plans on Idaho’s state insurance exchange have proposed premium rate increases next year averaging 38 percent. “I am deeply disappointed and frustrated to share these rates,” Cameron said in a news release; you can read it here. “I understand how difficult it will be for Idahoans to afford reasonable coverage, especially those without a subsidy.”

That is absolutely insane!

And for the most popular silver plans, the average rate increase here in Idaho is going to be around 50 percent

Idaho Statesman reporter Audrey Dutton reports that the largest increases are proposed in the “silver” plans, which are the most popular ones on the exchange, falling mid-range in pricing and benefits between the lower-level “bronze” plans and the high-end “gold” plans. Silver plans are showing average increases of 50 percent in premiums; they range from a low of 40 percent at Blue Cross to 69 percent at SelectHealth.

Idaho families simply cannot afford these sorts of rate increases, and that is why one of my top priorities as a member of Congress will be to repeal Obamacare immediately.

Of course Idaho is far from alone when it comes to enormous premium increases.  Out on the east coast, residents of Maryland will also see huge Obamacare rate increases in 2018

The cost of premiums for plans sold on the state’s health exchange will soar for 2018, adding to questions about the stability and affordability of the health insurance program known as Obamacare.

State regulators announced Tuesday that they have approved average rate increases of just over 23 percent to nearly 50 percent, depending on the plan and carrier, increases that surely will burden consumers who get no government subsidies but also potentially still leave insurers in the red.

And we find the exact same thing happening when we look at the middle of the country.  For example, just look at the rate increases that are projected for Illinois

The Illinois Department of Insurance submitted rates to the federal government Wednesday that would increase the average cost of the lowest-priced silver plans by 35 percent statewide. The lowest-priced bronze-level plans would increase, on average, by 20 percent, and the lowest-priced gold plans would increase by 16 percent, according to a department analysis obtained by the Tribune.

Most American families are essentially living paycheck to paycheck at this point, and so there is no way that they can afford these types of rate increases.

As a nation, we already spend more per capita on healthcare than anyone else in the entire industrialized world, and yet health insurance premiums continue to rise far faster than the overall rate of inflation year after year.

Our healthcare system is completely and utterly broken, and the more that the federal government interferes the worse things get.

50 years ago, healthcare was very affordable, and we had the greatest healthcare system on the entire planet.  We need a 100% repeal of Obamacare, and we desperately need to return to free market principles.  That is what I plan to fight for, and this is why we simply cannot allow the Democrats to be victorious in 2018.

If the Democrats regain control of either the House or the Senate in 2018, they will completely block any further attempts to dismantle Obamacare, and our healthcare system will continue to rapidly deteriorate.

We have a population that is rapidly aging and a healthcare system that is already overburdened.  Getting our healthcare system fixed is a pressing national priority, and let us hope that these health insurance rate increases will be enough to send hordes of extremely angry conservative voters to the polls for the mid-term elections.

Michael Snyder is a Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s First Congressional District, and you can learn how you can get involved in the campaign on his official website. His new book entitled “Living A Life That Really Matters” is available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.

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