Friday, October 23, 2009

Sen. Franken Educates Hudson Institute Rep. On Medical Bankruptcies

During a Senate Judiciary sub-committee hearing on medical bankruptcies, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) questioned Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the conservative Hudson Institute. Furchtgott-Roth contended that health care reform would increase bankruptcies. Franken made it clear that she was either being disingenuous or hadn't done her homework:

How is it that a representative from a think tank that supposedly studies health care economics doesn't know that there are no bankruptcies due to medical expenses in Switzerland, France and Germany? How can she contend that if we move toward a system that exists in those countries, we will experience more bankruptcies? The U.S. is the country where 60 percent of all bankruptcies are caused by medical bills, according to a report compiled by researchers at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University, as published in the American Journal of Medicine.

Professor Uwe E. Reinhardt, professor of health economics at Princeton University, has researched health care in the U.S. in comparison to other countries, including his native Germany, a nation mentioned by Franken. In an interview, Reinhardt said, "I have not ever read of Germans going bankrupt over health care." No, that happens in the U.S., under the system defended with such lack of expertise by Diana Furchtgott-Roth.

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