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September 29, 2009

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There are so many ways of cutting it, and it is so unclear whether the chicken or the egg came first. I myself am pretty much unaffected by the cost of health care because I am in good health, and I determined a long time ago that if I continued to make my health insurance payments, I would not be able to pay my mortgage, so I operate without a net. It scares me silly, but I believe it was necessary under our present corporate health care system. Now if I fail to pay my mortgage, we probably wouldn't attribute my losing my house to my not saving or investing the tens of thousands of dollars I sent my health insurer. One would say that there is no connection between my mortgage and my health insurance. It makes a tidy package of the whole debate. By the way, I have never yet been at all late with a mortgage payment and I haven't had to use emergency rooms for my medical care, but I am taking an active role in supporting a strong serious public option.

Steve's right. Let's be...less careless.

According to this study, 49% of foreclosures were attributed (by self-report) to a medical problem:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1416947

But since the study was done in 2008, before the current crisis really peaked, the percentage of medical-related foreclosures has probably gone down. But it may not be that simple, because before the housing crash, if you had a lot of medical bills to pay, many people could tap the cash in their house to pay them. But when the value of your house crashes and you can't do that anymore, you may have to default.

It's also worth noting that 80% of the people who attributed their foreclosure to medical problems actually did have insurance.

Dan, I disagree with you. I think it hurts the case for socialized health care when unsubstantiated numbers are thrown around. The arguments for health care reform are strong enough on their own to withstand scrutiny, we do not need to embellish.

The truth shall set us free.

"My issue is more about people being careless with their evidence."

I didn't miss your point. My point is that the fact that there are LOTS of people losing everything due to our having the world's worst health care delivery system trumps any statistical/ rhetorical failings we may be experiencing. One could argue about the numbers but NOBODY ought to be losing access to health care due to getting sick, and no one should lose their house that way either. The rest of the developed world wisely chose socialized medicine for good reason. Their systems work while our system doesn't. Corporations have taught us all to bad-mouth socialism even while we appreciate our socially funded fire & police departments, our parents' Medicare, our socially funded armed forces, schools & libraries. We can all chant "No New Taxes" while we squander the money that, as taxes, could have bought us decent health care (as it does in every other developed nation), or golden parachutes for insurance company executives and lobbyists who try to convince our representatives to betray us and represent insurance corporations instead. A socialist system for funding our health care would have someone answerable to "we the people" deciding what we are entitled to. Our present system and any of the systems being proposed that retain insurance corporations as the centerpiece of our health care system would continue to have "adjusters" making those decisions and being rewarded every time they found a way to deny coverage. We need to write our Senators and Congress member, but more important, we need to encourage our friends and family in the rest of the nation to encourage their representatives to support single payer or Medicare for all. There are enough of us if we can make ourselves heard. Dan

"OK, Steve, so what if it were under 20% but it happened to include your health and your house? Is that OK?"

Dan, I don't understand what you're asking or what your point is.

My issue is more about people being careless with their evidence. When someone writes "Fact: 80% of home foreclosures are directly related to debt accrued in relation to sickness and rising health care costs," they ought to at least be able to say what the source is. Otherwise, it looks like they're making up evidence, and they and their position lose credibility. That's what's happening in this instance.

OK, Steve, so what if it were under 20% but it happened to include your health and your house? Is that OK?

I'd love to know the source for the claim that 80% of home foreclosures are related to health care, because I don't believe it either. I've read that 80% of bankruptcies were caused by health care problems, so I'm wondering if the latter observation somehow morphed into the former one.

I've been hearing that the first wave of foreclosures was due to mortgage rates readjusting to levels people couldn't afford, and the second wave, which we're in now, is due to job losses. That makes much more sense to me than the claim that 80% (or even 40%) of foreclosures are caused by sickness or health care costs.

Whenever someone starts a sentence with "Fact:", that pretty much guarantees it's not a fact.

"The 80% number is way too high!!!!!"

OK, so what if it were 40%? (Which it isn't: 80% is much more accurate.) Are you comfortable with having that many people losing their houses due to debt accrued in relation to sickness and rising health care costs?

Fact: 80% of home foreclosures are directly related to debt accrued in relation to sickness and rising health care costs. So blaming it on low-income people who were taken in by predatory lenders cynically capitalizing on everyone's wish for the "American Dream" will no longer be the convenient scapegoat. This has got to change. Oh, we can't afford it? Where were all the penny pinchers when Bush was raiding the treasury?

[forwarded by Nancy Hall]

I disagree with this..People bought too much house with too easy money. Stated Income loans and couldn't afford the payment.The 80% number is way too high!!!!!

Wall Street has been running health care, and that is the real issue concerning a public option. Would you rather have a faceless private-industry claims adjuster who gets a bonus for denying treatment reviewing your claim or a public servant serving the public interest reviewing your claim?

.

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