Medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States. (It’s also one of the leading causes of anxiety, headaches, and sudden-onset fervent belief in a single-payer health care system.) But personal bankruptcies have dropped by a stunning 50% since 2010, which Consumer Reports says is due in part to the Affordable Care Act. (Thanks, Obama.)
As Consumer Reports notes, trips to the emergency room and cancer diagnoses are not something most of us include in our financial planning, so when we’re hit with those “unexpected, involuntary, and large” bills, many people are woefully financially unprepared. Personal bankruptcy becomes the only option. The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) meant millions more people had access to (or were required to carry) health insurance, meaning that when tragedy struck, they were prepared. They were able to seek treatment without having to sell their homes or declare bankruptcy. Take a look at the Consumer Reports article, because it’s an important read, particularly as Congress is once again looking to repeal the law that helped provide health insurance to some 20 million Americans who may not have otherwise been able to afford it.