medical bankruptcy

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pages: 252 words: 72,473

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O'Neil

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, carried interest, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Emanuel Derman, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Internet of things, late fees, medical bankruptcy, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price discrimination, quantitative hedge fund, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Sharpe ratio, statistical model, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working poor

A 2012 survey on credit card debt: Amy Traub, “Discredited: How Employment Credit Checks Keep Qualified Workers Out of a Job,” Demos, February 2013, www.​demos.​org/​sites/​default/​files/​publications/​Discredited-​Demos.​pdf. the single biggest cause of bankruptcies: Christina LaMontagne, “NerdWallet Health Finds Medical Bankruptcy Accounts for Majority of Personal Bankruptcies,” NerdWallet, March 26, 2014, www.​nerdwallet.​com/​blog/​health/​medical-​costs/​medical-​bankruptcy/. white households held on average: Tami Luhby, “The Black-White Economic Divide in 5 Charts,” CNN Money, November 25, 2015, http://​money.​cnn.​com/​2015/​11/​24/​news/​economy/​blacks-​whites-​inequality/. only 15 percent of whites: Rakesh Kochhar, Richard Fry, and Paul Taylor, “Wealth Gaps Rise to Record Highs Between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics: Twenty-to-One,” Pew Research Center, July 26, 2011, www.​pewsocialtrends.​org/​2011/​07/​26/​wealth-​gaps-​rise-​to-​record-​highs-​between-​whites-​blacks-​hispanics/.


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

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3D printing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

David Johnston, Sam Onat Yilmaz, Jeremy Kandah, Nikos Bentenitis, Farzad Hashemi, Ron Gross, Shawn Wilkinson, and Steven Mason, “The General Theory of Decentralized Applications, Dapps,” github.com, June 9, 2014. 44. Nakamoto, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” 45. National Patient Advocate Foundation, “Issue Brief: Medical Debt, Medical Bankruptcy and the Impact on Patients,” npaf.org, September 2012. 46. Dan Mangan, “Medical Bills Are the Biggest Cause of US Bankruptcies: Study,” cnbc.com, June 25, 2013. 47. National Patient Advocate Foundation, “Issue Brief: Medical Debt, Medical Bankruptcy and the Impact on Patients.” 48. rollingjubilee.org. 49. Interview with Astra Taylor, cofounder of Strike Debt and the Rolling Jubilee, conducted by e-mail, July 24, 2015. 50. “A Look Back at the 2012 ABA Indie Impact Study Series,” localismbythe numbers.com, June 11, 2014. 51.


pages: 300 words: 78,475

Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream by Arianna Huffington

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American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carried interest, citizen journalism, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, David Brooks, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, full employment, greed is good, housing crisis, immigration reform, invisible hand, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, new economy, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, Ponzi scheme, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, smart grid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Our elected leaders utterly ignored the fact that the vast majority of people who file for bankruptcy are middle-class folks who can’t pay their bills because they’ve lost their jobs or been hit with high medical bills. In fact, a 2009 study by researchers at Harvard and Ohio University showed that healthcare problems were the root cause of 62 percent of all personal bankruptcies in America in 2007.75 Using that rate, roughly 900,000 of 2009’s 1.4 million bankruptcy filings were medical bankruptcies.76 Or, to put it another way: Just over every thirty seconds someone in this country files for bankruptcy in the wake of a serious illness. How’s that for a shocking stat? Here’s another: 78 percent of the so-called medically bankrupt had health insurance at the time of their illness.77 It just wasn’t enough to cover the dramatic rise in health-care costs. Barry Bosworth and Rosanna Smart of the Brookings Institution found that the catastrophic collapse of the 2008 subprime mortgage market resulted in the disappearance of $13 trillion in American household wealth between mid-2007 and March 2009.78 Bosworth and Smart also found that “on average, U.S. households lost one quarter of their wealth in that period.”


pages: 232 words: 77,956

Private Island: Why Britain Now Belongs to Someone Else by James Meek

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, business continuity plan, call centre, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, Etonian, HESCO bastion, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, Mikhail Gorbachev, post-industrial society, pre–internet, price mechanism, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Washington Consensus, working poor

Among the common ailments were neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis, which left households $34,000 out of pocket on average, diabetes ($26,000) and stroke ($23,000). In his paper ‘Sick and (Still) Broke’, the lawyer Ryan Sugden points out that while the ACA puts a helpful cap on copayments, it doesn’t eliminate them, and does little to help people who have to quit work through their or a child’s illness. ‘While the Affordable Care Act will reduce the overall number of bankruptcies, and arguably eliminate the most morally objectionable causes of medical bankruptcy, in a system based on market principles there will – and must – be consumers whose own bad choices spell financial trouble,’ he writes. ‘For society to “win” and receive the benefits of a consumer-driven system, there must be some who “lose”.’ Latest figures from the OECD and the World Health Organisation suggest that the US spends 2.4 times more on health per person than Britain, yet Britons live slightly longer, on average, than Americans.


pages: 552 words: 168,518

MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World by Don Tapscott, Anthony D. Williams

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cloud computing, collaborative editing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, demographic transition, distributed generation, don't be evil, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, failed state, fault tolerance, financial innovation, Galaxy Zoo, game design, global village, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Home mortgage interest deduction, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, medical bankruptcy, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Netflix Prize, new economy, Nicholas Carr, oil shock, online collectivism, open borders, open economy, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, scientific mainstream, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social web, software patent, Steve Jobs, text mining, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, value at risk, WikiLeaks, X Prize, young professional, Zipcar

Kauffman Foundation Research Series: Firm Formation and Economic Growth, November 2009. 7. Ken Terry, “Health Spending Hits 17.3 Percent of GDP In Largest Annual Jump,” B Net (February 4, 2010). 8. “Life Expectancy at Birth,” CIO World Factbook. See: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html. 9. D. U. Himmelstein, D. Thorne, E. Warren, et al., “Medical bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a national study,” The American Journal of Medicine (August 2009). 10. Karen Pallarito, “Government to Pay for More Than Half of U.S. Health Care Costs,” U.S. News (February 4, 2010). 11. Geoffrey Lean, “Water scarcity ‘now bigger threat than financial crisis,’” The Independent (March 15, 2009). 12. Source: http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending. 13.

Erica Westly, “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World: #23 PatientsLikeMe,” Fast Company (February 17, 2010). 4. Ibid. 5. “Health care spending in Canada to exceed $180 billion this year,” Canadian Institute for Health Information (November 19, 2009). 6. Robert Kelley, “Where Can $700 Billion In Waste Be Cut Annually From The U.S. Healthcare System?” Thomson Reuters (October 27, 2009). 7. D. Himmelstein, D. Thorne, E. Warren, et al., ”Medical bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: results of a national study,” American Journal of Medicine (August 2009). 8. J. Lubitz and G. Riley, “Trends in Medicare payments in the last year of life,” New England Journal of Medicine (April 1993). 9. Greg Keller, “US Tops World in Health Care Spending, Results Lag,” ABC News (December 8, 2009). 10. “Country Comparison: Life Expectancy at Birth,” Central Intelligence Agency World Fact Book (2009). 11.


pages: 602 words: 120,848

Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer-And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Paul Pierson, Jacob S. Hacker

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accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, asset allocation, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business climate, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, desegregation, employer provided health coverage, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, full employment, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, moral hazard, Nate Silver, new economy, night-watchman state, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce

Economic Mobility Initiative: An Initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts (February 2008). 17 Wojciech Kopczuk, Emmanuel Saez, and Jae Song, “Uncovering the American Dream: Inequality and Mobility in Social Security Earnings Data Since 1937,” National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Working Paper No. 13345 (August 2007), 14, 40. 18 Miles Corak, “Chasing the Same Dream, Climbing Different Ladders: Economic Mobility in the United States and Canada,” Economic Mobility Initiative: An Initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts (January 2009), 7. 19 See table 3.13: Change in Private Sector Employer-Provided Pension Coverage, 1979–2006 in Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein, and Heidi Shierholz, The State of Working America 2008/2009 (Cornell: Cornell University Press, 2008). 20 Jack VanDerhei, Sarah Holden, and Luis Alonso, “401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2008,” Employee Benefit Research Institute No. 335 (October 2009): 16. 21 Alicia H. Munnell, Anthony Webb, and Francesca Golub-Sass, “The National Retirement Risk Index: After the Crash,” Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Brief No. 9–22 (October 2009). 22 David Himmelstein, Deborah Thorne, Elizabeth Warren, and Steffie Woolhandler, “Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study,” American Journal of Medicine 122: 8 (2007): 741–746. 23 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD Health Data 2009—Frequently Requested Data (November 2009), http://www.irdes.fr/EcoSante/DownLoad/OECDHealthData_FrequentlyRequestedData.xls. 24 Jacob S. Hacker, “The New Push for American Health Security,” in Health at Risk: America’s Ailing Health System—and How to Heal It, Jacob S.


pages: 580 words: 168,476

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, declining real wages, deskilling, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, framing effect, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, invisible hand, John Harrison: Longitude, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, London Interbank Offered Rate, lone genius, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, offshore financial centre, paper trading, patent troll, payday loans, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, very high income, We are the 99%, women in the workforce

“conservatively” estimate that “62.1% of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical,” that is, had important medical factors as a contributor. Furthermore, “most medical debtors were well educated, owned homes, and had middle-class occupations. Three quarters had health insurance. Using identical definitions, between 2001 and 2007, the share of bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 49.6%.” D. Himmelstein, D. Thorne, E. Warren, and S. Woolhandler, “Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study,” American Journal of Medicine 122, no. 8 (2009): 741–46. In terms of getting at a more causal measure, i.e., estimating the direct effect of a health shock on the decision of whether or not to declare bankruptcy, Gross and Notowidigdo find “that out-of-pocket medical costs are pivotal in roughly 26 percent of personal bankruptcies among low-income households.”