Our health insurance system is theoretically supposed to prevent Americans from going bankrupt when they are hit by huge medical bills. But in case after case, that is simply not happening. Even though more Americans are “covered by health insurance” than ever before, a new study has found that “about 530,000 families each year are financially ruined by medical bills and sicknesses”, and most of those families actually had health insurance. These days, most health insurance policies closely resemble Swiss cheese because they are so full of loopholes, and health insurance companies have become masters at finding ways to wiggle off the hook. So every year hundreds of thousands of American families find themselves facing huge medical bills that they did not expect to be paying, and as a result medical expenses are the primary factor in 66.5 percent of all personal bankruptcy filings in the United States…
If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would have the fifth largest GDP on the entire planet. At this point only the United States, China, Japan and Germany have a GDP that is larger than the 3.5 trillion dollar U.S. health care market. If that sounds obscene to you, that is because it is obscene. We should want people to be attracted to the health care industry because they truly want to help people that are suffering, but instead the primary reason why people are drawn to the health care industry these days is because of the giant mountains of money that are being made. Like so many other things in our society, the health care industry is all about the pursuit of the almighty dollar, and that is just wrong.
This is one of the saddest, yet happiest, stories that I have written about in a long time. Only about 12,000 people live in the little town of Monroe, Ohio but a remarkable 11-year-old girl that lives there is capturing hearts all over the nation. Madison “Maddie” Smallwood has been battling bone cancer for several years, and the long-term prognosis does not look promising. Facing that kind of challenge would be way too much for many young girls her age, but not for Madison. She has decided that she is going to live life to the fullest no matter how long she has. So she has made a “bucket list” and is trying to complete as many items on it as she can while she still has time. And no matter how her story ultimately plays out, she will always be remembered as a warrior that was an inspiration to millions of Americans.
One of the primary reasons why the middle class in America is disappearing so rapidly is because of skyrocketing health care costs. Families all over the country are being absolutely crushed by extremely high health insurance premiums, ridiculously high deductibles and very large out-of-pocket expenses that were not anticipated. In fact, medical bills are the number one reason why individuals go bankrupt in the United States today. Once upon a time, the medical profession was all about helping people, but today it has become a heartless money-making operation that is dominated by health insurance corporations and pharmaceutical companies. If we do not make major changes quickly, our out of control health care system will destroy the middle class in our country all by itself.
If you are an American, there is a 1 in 3 chance that you will get cancer during your lifetime. If you are a man, the odds are closer to 1 in 2. And almost everyone in America either knows someone who currently has cancer or who has already died from cancer. But it wasn’t always this way. Back in the 1940s, only one out of every sixteen Americans would develop cancer. Something has happened that has caused the cancer rate in this nation to absolutely explode, and it is being projected that cancer will soon surpass heart disease and become the leading cause of death in the United States. Overall, the World Health Organization says that approximately 14 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed around the globe each year, and the number of new cases is expected to increase by about 70 percent over the next 2 decades. There are very few words in the English language that cause more fear than the word “cancer”, but despite billions spent on research and all of the technological progress we have made over the years this plague just continues to spiral wildly out of control. Why is that?