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August 03, 2009


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Tim Zinnecker

I'm a bit slow to pick up on the importance of the paper and its research. It's old news that uninsured (or underinsured) individuals often file bankruptcy because of medical costs. And many physicians insist on up-front payment, leaving the patient to wrestle with the insurance company. No surprise there. So some folks have medical debts owed to physicians, and some folks have medical debts owned to third-party financers (e.g., credit card companies). Again, no shock. So what am I missing?

Is the concern that reviewing bankruptcy filings and noting "credit card debt" only tells half the story? Are folks relying on that info without looking behind the label to learn the nature of the underlying credit card debt? Again, why would folks NOT look behind the label?

So I'm left wondering why I should read the paper. Help me out here.


The paper adds precision to what you report as things we already know.

I've asked Jacoby and Holman to write a little bit more that goes beyond their abstract; so we'll be continuing this discussion shortly.

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