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Medical bills account for 40% of bankruptcies

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7245.1295 (Published 13 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1295
  1. Scott Gottlieb
  1. New York

    Exorbitant medical bills in the United States play a huge part in personal bankruptcies, accounting for about 40% of the filings last year, according to a new study.

    About 500000 Americans filed for bankruptcy protection in 1999 largely because of heavy medical expenses, according to the study, which is to be published next month in a finance journal, Norton's Bankruptcy Adviser.

    “Very little attention has been paid to the number of people who are in bankruptcy because of serious medical problems,” said the study's lead author, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren. “It's a reminder that many of the …

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