Our Broken Medical System

Our profit-driven healthcare system is broken and your life, as well as your savings, are at risk.

One in five Americans has medical debt in collections, which results in over 500,000 people a year declaring bankruptcy (62% of all bankruptcies*). The debt typically comes from unexpected medical bills, such as out-of-network doctors who people thought were in-network, visits to the ER, hospital stays, or ambulance rides. And it’s not just the poor who are at risk. It’s also the middle class and even some who may be considered wealthy.

Even people with health insurance, including Medicare, can be threatened with bankruptcy because of doctors’ fees, operations, procedures, tests, and medications that their insurance doesn’t cover. 72% of patients bankrupted by medical bills have health insurance*.

And a growing, hidden epidemic of preventable medical errors in our hospitals, the 3rd leading cause of death, is killing between 250,000 and 400,000 people a year and injuring millions more. This is mainly the result of a misguided effort by hospitals, even “nonprofit” hospitals, to put profit before patient safety. And they’re not alone. Drug and medical device manufacturers, health insurers, and nursing homes are also guilty. Even the FDA puts patient’s lives at risk when it approves medications based on the influence of special interests and most medical devices without any testing at all.

Our broken medical system:

  • puts profit before patients’ lives
  • does not regulate health care prices
  • allows the cost of medical services to be hidden
  • bankrupts people who can’t pay their medical bills, even if the costs were hidden, the bills are inflated, unreasonable, predatory, fraudulent, or error-filled* *80% of hospital bills
  • won’t reveal dangerous doctors
  • threatens whistleblowers, including those who expose patient safety issues
  • won’t accept medical error as a cause of death
  • allows hospitals to pay the organization that inspects them
  • is secretive and hides serious harm and threats to patients
  • won’t make patient safety a priority.

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