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The High Cost of Health Care: Can People Afford It?

Last updated on February 25, 2023

The average cost spent on health care is around $3,726 per day. Imagine being hurt in a critical condition – let’s say, an unexpected car crash. As you wake up in a hospital,  doctors tell you everything that happened and what they’ve done to fix your injuries. You thank them and ask your questions. Then, they walk out. As you’re recovering and sitting up, another doctor walks in. “This is the bill,” they say,  “you can go over it and make sure everything’s right.”

You look over the bill and realize, this is far too much. You think: I can’t pay for this on the spot.

This is what many people fear.  They can’t afford the debt or hospital bills. So, they shrug off their medical issues as “okay” or, “fine.”

You may have seen it in entertainment media. For instance, this happens in a show you might be familiar with: New Girl. Jess eventually takes Nick to her friend who is an OBGYN doctor and ends up getting an ultrasound. Characters always end up all right, but some don’t realize is this is a real-life problem. In fact, “an estimated 31.2 million U.S. residents under the age of 65 in the U.S. are uninsured.’’ 


Insurance makes it easier to pay, yes but if you for any reason don’t have insurance, it can significantly worsen your disposable income. Doctors are among the highest-paid workers, and much of hospital bills need to go to doctors’ salaries. In fact, “100 million adults have health care debt. And 12% of them owe 10,000 or more.” When a lawsuit happens as a result of medical debt not being paid, a “lien” on homes often happens. A lien is the transfer of ownership, (such as property) until the debt is paid. Another event that often occurs is something called a garnish, which is said to be “an unauthorized fee formerly extorted from a new inmate of an English jail.” 

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