Blog of Mass Distraction

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Health of the Nation

The House in the US has passed a bill, that's now waiting for Senate approval, that institutes major changes to US bankruptcy laws. The bill is supposed to hold people who declare bankruptcy more accountable, but in reality it will make it much harder for people to declare bankruptcy and be protected from creditors. The bill predominantly affects those that file for Chapter 7 where your assets are sold off and you're absolved of your debt. Those who have more than the median state income will have a much harder time filing under Chapter 7, and may have to look to filing under Chapter 13. Filing Chapter 13 means you have 5 years to pay back certain creditors, and those creditors that aren't included in the plan get nothing. Except under the new law those creditors can contest those decision. The bill particularly enforces payment of credit card and medical bills. Moreover, lawyers will be held responsible for any mistakes made in the bankruptcy filing so legal fees for filing will go up as well and lawyers will have to go through client's finances.1
The biggest problem with this bill is forcing people to repay medical bills. Currently, chronic or expensive illnesses causes 50% of bankruptcies in the US. And most people that declare bankruptcy because of illness already have medical insurance. Most of those health insurance plans have a lifetime limit which once passed will end their benefits. Because health care is so much more expensive in the US this can happen easily with chronic disease or serious illnesses like HIV/AIDS. As I've mentioned before, the US is the only G7 country without universal coverage and yet it spends the most per capita on health care because health care there is just more expensive.

I also watched a couple of very good movies this past weekend. The first was Hotel Rwanda. I saw Ray a while ago and I thought Jamie Foxx did a fantastic job, but Don Cheadle was amazing in this movie. So was Sophie Okonedo as his wife. In fact, the only thing I saw bringing this movie down at all was a paltry performance by Nick Nolte.

1 Comments:

  • Wow - you're blog is full of good info. It's getting hard to find blogs with useful content and people talking about Chapter 7 these days. I have just started my Latest Chapter 7 News blog and would really appreciate you coming by - thanks again

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:48 PM  

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