Popular Internet Meme Criticizing U.S. Medical Bankruptcy Rate Misses the Point

A popular online meme that came out earlier this year pointed out that over 500,000 Americans declare bankruptcy because of medical bills each year, and it was often used to criticize the medical and financial institutions of the United States. According to a recent fact check performed on the claims behind the meme, the numbers may not be exact but appear reasonably accurate. The larger issue surrounding the viral spread of the meme online is the misguided criticism of the United States bankruptcy code. In reality, many Americans are able to use U.S. bankruptcy protections to regain control of their finances after incurring excessive medical debt that was necessary to save their own life or the life of a loved one.

StethoscopeMore Personal Bankruptcies Are Filed Over Medical Debts Than Any Other Type of Debt

Putting the relatively insignificant dispute over the exact numbers aside, both the source of the popular meme and the fact checkers who wrote the article agree that more personal bankruptcies are filed to address medical debt in the U.S. each year than over any other source of debt. The reasons for this vary, but medical debts may result in so many bankruptcy filings because they are rarely secured by collateral, can increase very quickly to reach levels that are impossible for many debtors to pay off, and are often incurred while patients are suffering from medical problems that prevent them from working. According to a 2013 congressional report cited in the article, over 640,000 medical bankruptcies were filed in American courts in 2013. Many of these cases resulted in large amounts of medical debt being discharged.

Medical Debt Should Not Be a Source of Shame or Hardship

The United States is home to some of the best medical care available, although it can also be extremely expensive, especially to patients without adequate health insurance. Hundreds of thousands of Americans incur excessive amounts of debt while undergoing expensive medical treatment. Understandably, many patients and their families decide to undergo the best treatment available in the event of a medical emergency without fully anticipating the financial costs. In these instances, a patient’s life may have been saved by an expensive medical procedure. However, without the option to use bankruptcy to help discharge the debts, the patient could be burdened by lawsuits and collection attempts for their rest of their life. The patients who benefit from the American medical system are also entitled to the protections of the American bankruptcy system when medical debt gets out of hand.

Finding a Qualified Bankruptcy Attorney for Your Case

If you or a loved one has been struggling with medical debt, it can be difficult to fully heal and resume fully contributing to society when you are constantly reminded of excessive debts that seem impossible to pay off. A skilled medical bankruptcy attorney can assist you in preparing and filing a bankruptcy case that will allow you to discharge many debts and start with a clean slate. The Louisville and Southern Indiana bankruptcy attorneys at the Schwartz Bankruptcy Law Center have the ability to get you back in a position where you’re able to support yourself and regain confidence in your financial independence and personal health. Our bankruptcy lawyers represent clients nationwide in various bankruptcy proceedings. Call 866-366-3328 today or contact us through our website to schedule a risk-free consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Federal Appeals Court Allows Creditors to Seek Repayment of Expired Debt Claims Through Bankruptcy Cases, Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyers Blog, published September 6, 2016.

Bankruptcy Debtor Fails to Justify Transfer of Farm to Her Father Before Bankruptcy, Kentucky Bankruptcy Lawyers Blog, published August 14, 2016.

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