Medical debt is a major driver of personal bankruptcy. This is a fact that Bernie Sanders highlights on the stump in support of his Medicare for All proposal. Sanders, who is more fond of statistics than stories, drives home the point with a big number. “500,000 people go bankrupt every year because they cannot pay their outrageous medical bills,” he said on TV recently, repeating the same point on Twitter:
500,000 Americans will go bankrupt this year from medical bills. They didn’t go to Las Vegas and blow their money at a casino. Their crime was that they got sick. How barbaric is a system that says, “I’m going to destroy your family’s finances because you had cancer”?