Excerpts from Consumers Report, July 2008 issue:
OVERDOSE OF DEBT
“This is really the medical equivalent of subprime mortgages”
Patients' out-of-pocket medical payments are projected to rise from $269 billion in 2007 to $464 billion by 2017, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Some of the biggest names in the consumer-credit business are mining the area of patient and medical financing because the potential for profit is so big.
CapitalOne Healthcare Finance
Citi Health Card
GE Money CareCredit
“The links between the credit and health-care industries hinder efforts to control health-care costs”, says Elizabeth Warren, a consumer-debt expert and Harvard law professor. "When card issuers can make the same extraordinary rates of return on medical debt as they do on iPod and sneaker purchases, they become powerful political stakeholders who profit from escalating medical costs and reduced insurance coverage," she says. "They make health-care reform that much harder to achieve."
Caregivingly Yours, J Patrick Leer
website: www.CaregivinglyYours.comvideos: http://www.youtube.com/daddyleer
(also available in Blogger edition, Caregiver Blog: "Caregivingly Yours")