Opinion: Medical Bills In The United States Are Unaffordable

Matt Lillywhite

"One-in-three adults in the United States have medical debt," according to The White House. "It is now the largest source of debt in collections—more than credit cards, utilities, and auto loans combined."

It's no secret that medical bills and drug prices in the United States are more expensive than Europe, Australia, or pretty much anywhere else. In fact, "prices in advanced countries are often 50% cheaper than what Americans pay for drugs", according to Harvard Business Review.

Take Insulin as an example. The cost of one vial in the United States is $98, according to the Rand Corporation, a non-profit think tank that's sponsored by various U.S. government agencies. Meanwhile, the cost of one vial in Canada is approximately $12. Furthermore, in the United Kingdom, diabetics can get a free prescription for Insulin.

It's also worth discussing the astronomically high price of hospital bills in the United States. In Texas, hospitals charge an average of $2,318 per visit, according to CBS News. California is also expensive - with ER visits costing an average of $2,960 (before insurance).

For many low-income families, medical bills are unaffordable. "The majority of medical debt is owned by people who don't have the money to pay for it," said Allison Sesso during an interview with Forbes. "At what point is it too much that we have this expectation that individuals pull money out of their own pocket to pay for their healthcare needs?"

What do you think? Do you believe medical bills are unaffordable? Leave a comment with your thoughts. And if you think more people should read this article, share it on social media.

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Matt Lillywhite covers politics, the economy, and kitchen-table issues that matter.


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