Further Healthcare Reform Needed for Personal and Federal Budgets, Says Pioneer Law Firm
The Affordable Care Act was enacted to provide reform and standardized medical insurance reaching a larger population. At the same time, the growth of federal healthcare spending is the main cause of future projected debt and deficits. As more people are added to the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the cost to the government will increase. Currently healthcare spending represents 4.9% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that federal spending on healthcare will increase to become 7.5% by 2035. Social security and healthcare together will grow steadily to become 14% of GDP by 2039.
For individuals, healthcare is also becoming a larger share of their budget and often those with healthcare can't afford the total costs. Medical debt has grown as a financial problem and has become the main contributor to bankruptcy in America. More than 60% of bankruptcies are the result of medical debt, a number that has been steadily increasing over the last decade from only 46% in 2001. Medical bills are usually unplanned and surgery is very expensive, however the cost of a procedure can vary greatly depending on the facility and the insurance network. Often the financial burden is so great that it impacts the care an individual seeks. People with trouble paying medical bills are more likely to avoid care needed by delaying or cancelling doctor appointments or avoiding filling prescriptions.
Those with trouble paying who require medical care are likely to encounter financial hardship that empties their savings, forces them to borrow more, or pursue bankruptcy. When an individual has an unexpected and costly procedure, the cost can add-up quickly to equal the price of a home in some areas. For those that don't choose bankruptcy and are sued by debtors, the medical records become public record and help destroy patient confidentiality.
"The nation's healthcare system was considered broken and in need of reform, which the Affordable Care Act has tried to address and improve. Despite the political gesturing around the topic of how medical care is organized, there are deep underlying problems that our reformed system still doesn't address. These problems include, the escalating and varying costs of medical care and prescriptions, the financial impact on the sick, inequality for the wealthy, and the safety net for those who cannot pay," says John Dougherty, Founding Attorney at Pioneer. "Part of the underlying problem is that the financial system regards medical costs similarly to other purchases, when in reality it should be treated with more delicate oversight. The process for purchasing, financing, and collecting payment for a life-saving procedure should not be the same as when buying a car."
About Pioneer Law
Pioneer Law is a legal firm specializing in Bankruptcy, Business Litigation, FDCPA, and Real Estate law. For those paralyzed by debt, disputing with a business, troubled by a collector, or involved in the sale of real estate, the specialists at Pioneer Law are prepared to advise, represent, and give peace of mind. For more information visit PioneerLawFirm.com.