Medical bankruptcy data disputed

Last year, a Harvard group led by single-payer proponent David Himmelstein published a study in Health Affairs which suggested that up to 54 percent of all bankruptcies were medically-related. Today Health Affairs publishes a review of that study from David Dranove and Michael Millenson at Northwestern in which they re-jig the numbers provided by the Harvard group and suggest that only 17 percent of bankruptcies can be attributed to high medical costs. They also argue that a single payer plan would not remove the root cause of many of these cases. Essentially, they accuse Himmelstein's group of allowing ideology and sympathy for the bankrupt to get in the way of their analysis. Himmelstein responds by accusing Dranove and Millenson of misinterpreting the data, and being lackeys of the insurance industry, which funded (but had no say over the content of) their research.

- see the release from Health Affairs
hear an interview with Michael Millenson on my Health Care Blog